Churchable and I made the trek once again to Spokane for a weekend with Meemo, my mother-in-law. She continues to be a trooper in her battle with cancer and always thinks she can do a little more to help out around the house and kitchen.
Chicken pot pie was my first thought when I read about the Waiter there’s something in my …. blog event over at Cook sister!. Since I haven’t made the dish since I was in college, I got a craving for it and had to contribute. Our fast food culture provides pot pies in the frozen food section at the grocery store. These are a bit salty and somehow unsatisfying. Although frozen foods are cheap and easy, I hope that my experience might inspire someone else as well.
While planning this out in my head, I decided on individual pies. This was based purely on a love of crust. With individual pies, the whole family can have more crust and be certain that the portions were divided fairly. I have the perfect ramekins pining away in my cupboard because I neglected to make more mac n cheese for the freezer. This recipe turned out so good it might become my new freezer go-to or at least it will trade back and forth with the mac n cheese.
Unfortunately in my hurry to pack and head on our 7 hour trek to Spo Vegas, I forgot to pack the ramekins. This was quite an oversight since Meemo’s kitchen is Spartan. A few basic items are readily available, while some essentials are notably missing. Some elegant dishes can be found in dusty corners where nobody has touched them along with forlorn baking goods suffering from old age. I sidestepped this wearisome scene and scampered across the street to borrow ramekins and a large muffin tin from the neighbor.
My husband helped me out on this recipe since he is so good with pie crusts. He made it extra buttery and flaky by accident and I really liked the combination with the creamy filling. I also used the stir fry mix that comes with my CSA share each week for the main bulk of the veggies.
- 2 ½ – 3 pie crusts – use your basic recipe with a little more butter or shortening.
- 2 T butter
- Mixture of spices – these change with my mood, but just pick the spices you like.
- 2 C medium chopped vegetables ( I used 1 stalk of celery, 3 carrots and the stir fry mix)
- 2 C shredded cooked chicken (you can get a rotisserie or cook one yourself)
- 3 T all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 2 -14.5 oz cans of low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 450 F with rack in the center.
- Make pie crust mixture and cut into rounds to place in muffin tin, ramekins or pie pan. The individual pies will take up about 1 ½ pie crusts for the bases. Bake the crusts until browned, about 7-8 min. Remove. Reduce oven to 350 F.
- While the pie crusts are baking, melt butter over medium heat. Add the vegetables and spices and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about a minute until it is warm. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated. Add the broth to the pan; increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly till the mixture thickens slightly, about a minute or two.
- Pour the mixture into the just baked pie shells. Cover with remaining pie crusts, crimping the edges so they stick some. Make one slit into the top of each individual pie and several in a main pie.
- Bake the pies on a baking sheet until golden brown and bubbly. 15-20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, let rest for 10 min, and then serve.
PS The muffin tins are tricky to get the pie out of them. If you are going for appearance, make a few extra in case some can not be lifted out as a unit.