Tuesday, June 8, 2010

chicken pot pie

there's a few things that I look at and think "oh my gosh, I could NEVER make that. it would just be WAY too far above my skill level." i used to think that about things like homemade pizza, apple pies, and chicken pot pie. well, i've since conquered the homemade pizza and apple pie (which are surprisingly easy as long as you have a good recipe) and felt it was time to move on to the chicken pot pie. i felt the heat of the challenge as i pulled "chicken pot pie" out of the recipe jar a few weeks ago. i was ready.

i have made a similar chicken pot pie from "Hungry Girl". (if you haven't tried any of her recipes, please do!) it was so simple and SO delicious. for hungry girl's you just mix a bag of frozen mixed vegetables with some cooked chicken and then mix that all with some cream of chicken soup. you let it bake and then put a crust of crescent rolls on the top and finish baking. simple right? so i felt a little concerned when i began reading pioneer woman's recipe that i was to accomplish that week. it was a bit more detailed but let me tell you...worth every last second.

i only made one change to the entire recipe. once i made the filling of vegetables, chicken, and cream (which is sinfully delightful, so much so that i could NOT stop eating it out of the pot before it ever made it to the pie) i felt it needed just a little kick. just a little something extra. so what did i add?

ladies and gentleman, only my favorite spice on the planet earth.

curry powder.

oh my gosh. i did wonders. now, i never measure curry powder. frankly, i don't measure any spices when i'm cooking or backing so i really couldn't tell you how much i added. it was probably somewhere close to a tablespoon. remember, i'm a HUGE fan of curry. mr. e is not, so i refrained from letting him know about my addition until after he'd consumed a second helping of chicken pot pie and given it a thumbs up. if you aren't as big a fan, i would still add just a little. curry isn't really spicy, at least not to me. it just has more of a heat to it. a nice heat that will balance out all the flavors in your filling.

this was truly heaven. it's going into my permanent collection. oh! and pioneer woman explained that this is a GREAT freezer recipe. so it's going in the "freezes beautifully" section of my recipe book as well. (note: i do not have a recipe book...i have three overflowing binders that scream "organize me" everytime i walk by my cookbook shelf. someday.)

pioneer woman's chicken pot pie
makes one 9 inch pie

3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion
4 t. butter
1/2 c. frozen peas
2 cups cooked chicken (dark and light) cut into bite sized pieces (i recommend just getting a rotisserie and ripping the heck out of it
1 c. AP flour
2 c. low sodium chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 c. heavy cream
1 t. ground thyme
1 t. kosher salt, or more to taste black pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 T. of curry depending on feelings about said curry
1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)

finely dice all vegetables. Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. add the vegetables (including frozen peas) and saute until the vegetables start to turn translucent. add the chicken and and stir to combine. sprinkle the flour evenly over the mix and stir. cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently.pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly as well as the chicken boullion cube. (i should mention here that P-Dub also adds 1/4 white wine but we are a nonalcoholic family here so we leave those ingredients out.) pour in the cream and stir. let the mixture cook over low heat to allow it to thicken. let it cook for about 4 minutes. season with thyme, salt, pepper, and curry. taste and adjust as needed. (see! she gave me permission to add the curry! add whatever you want!) pour the chicken mix into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish.

roll out the crust so that it's 1 inch larger than the pan. place the crust on top of the chicken mix and cut small slits in the top. press the crust into the sides of the dish to seal.

bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. cool 10 minutes before serving.

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