Chicken Pot Pie

As a kid, there were a few meals that came from a package or dining out that I loved.  Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli is one (though I find that sauce nasty in anything else) and Pot Pies are the other.

A long departed restaurant across from Lincoln Center served one of the best Chicken Pot Pies ever, and it is one of those items that if I find it on the menu, it'll be hard to talk me out of it.  More often, though, I'll pick up one out of the freezer at the supermarket and be quite content.

I don't know why I never bothered to try to make them, considering that it's a meal that always satisfies, but today, when I was driving home from a friend's house, I'd suggested it as a dinner option to Ed and got an "oooooooooohhhhhhhh" that told me I had a very good idea.

The thing is, I make a damn good chicken gravy (otherwise known as chicken a la king) and a great chicken soup, but the consistency of pot pie falls somewhere in the middle.  I found a recipe that included chicken stock and a basic roux, and that was all I needed to get mine rolling.  (the rest of the recipe was full of stuff I didn't think a pot pie should have).

I thought phyllo dough was the way to go, but it really was lacking (the top got crispy, but the rest wasn't).  Next time, I'll make empanada dough, which turns out very flaky.

The recipe I cobbled together made about two quarts of filling, and I thought I had a quart to put in the fridge.  Little did I know, Ed and Chef devoured most of it when I wasn't looking-so I guess they really liked it.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Filling

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I think I probably had about 8-10 ounces)
3 medium potatoes, diced into 1/2 chunks
2 celery stalks, sliced in half, then sliced into thin pieces
3 carrots, sliced in half, then sliced into thin pieces
1 medium sweet onion, cut in half, then slivered very thin
1 quart chicken stock (I used unsalted, because I prefer to put kosher salt in)
8 oz half and half
4 oz butter
4 tsp flour
1 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 tablespoon granulated garlic (I actually use a garlic/rosemary blend from Tone's)
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons parsley
2 teaspoons pepper

In a 5quart pot, put in the chicken stock, onions, celery, carrots and spices and cook over medium heat.  At the same time,  boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes in a 3quart saucepan, then drain an add to the large pot.

In the saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the flour and stir until blended.  Add the half and half, then allow it to barely bubble to thicken.  Add to the large pot, then stir.  Once it boils, add the chicken and cook for five minutes. 

It is now ready to put into the crust of your choice and bake.  Next time, I think we'll use some flaky Grands biscuits, split them in half and bake for ten minutes at 350.  If I have time, though, I'll be making a batch of empanada dough, since that comes out so flaky.

Wondering how long it will be before Ed and Chef bug me to make this again...


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