Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mother of All Pot Pies

If you've seen this before, it's because it's a reprint from my personal blog.

I am recently (since Wednesday) addicted beyond belief to pot pie of all flavors. I had some at Marie Callendar's when I was there Wednesday with a friend, and, while I enjoyed it, my immediate thought was, "I could make this... better." So I did. I looked up pot pie in my mom's trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, and set to work.

Oh. My. Gosh. The crust that Betty has you make is a celery seed crust, and it is to die for. It's really light and flaky, and it has this great flavor from the celery seed. I actually used celery salt (since that's the only thing we had) and just omitted salt from the crust and the filling to make up for it. It turned out really well.

Liquid-y stuff:
1/3 C butter
1/3 C flour
1/2 an onion
1/2 teaspoon salt (remember, if you use celery salt, I recommend that you omit this stuff.)
1-3/4 C chicken/turkey broth (I used bouillon... who has chicken broth just sitting around?)
Lots and lots of pepper (I'm obsessed... you might want to use less.)
2/3 C milk
Heat butter over low heat until melted.
Whisk in the flour, and keep whisking until it's smooth, with no lumps (trust me).
Stir in onions & pepper... and salt if you must.
Heat until thickened (it says to stir constantly, but whatever. I didn't, and it turned out fine. I also had to turn the heat up to almost medium before it would thicken at all... Betty knows some stuff, but she's not a magician).

For the chicken, I just cooked some thighs up in my mom's cast-iron pan, along with half an onion, chopped pretty big, and some sage and some cardamom (another obsession of mine). I just cooked it until it was all done, and then drained it and set it aside until I was ready for it.

Crust: (I would do this after your saucy stuff and chicken are done, so it doesn't just sit there and dry out.)
1/3 C Crisco (that's right... Crisco. This ain't no diet food.)
2 C flour
2 t celery seed
1 t salt
4-5 T water
~Cut the shortening into the flour, celery seed and salt until pieces are the size of small peas (mine never look like peas... they always look like shredded cheese... Betty, I am not.)
~Sprinkle in water, 1 T at a time, tossing with fork until all the loose flour is moistened and it almost cleans the side of the bowl when you stir it around. (I didn't measure the water at all... I just added a little bit at a time until it seemed like it was the right consistency. Be sure to just toss it with a fork instead of doing some hard-core stirring, because I think when you handle the dough too much it gets tough.)
Use 2/3 of the dough for the bottom, and the other 1/3 for the top.

I improvised a little lot on the vegetables... Betty thinks that a 10-oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables is going to cut it, but she's WRONG, folks. Don't do it. I did some layers... I love me some layers:
Frozen spinach
Chicken mixture
Sauce
Cut-up baby carrots (that's what we had...)
Broccoli that was about to go bad, cut up in little pieces (keepin' it real, people.)
More chicken mix
Sauce
Frozen french-cut green beans
Frozen corn (I love corn)
the rest of the chicken
the rest of the sauce

I used this really deep crockery-sort of dish that we have, so it's like the mother of all pot pies. But really, it needed to be that big to fit all the veg I crammed into it. I'm not about the weenie pot pies with two peas, a few carrot slices and 1 piece of chicken ("Hey! I never knew there was chicken in this soup!")... I like my stuff to be hearty, and well worth my time.

So you just put all this crap in the crust, and put the top crust on... I always make something pretty in my crusts, because that's how I roll, but you could just cut a couple slits for ventilation, otherwise your pie might sprout a leak and blow a hole out the top.

I would recommend brushing the crust with a little buttah to make it extra delicious. As I may have mentioned before, this ain't no diet food. But really, it's not that bad for you, either. Aside from all the butter. And the Crisco. And the flour. You know. It has veggies! Lots and lots of veggies! That's all I'm saying.
Bake this puppy uncovered in a 425 oven for about 30 minutes, or until your crust is golden.

I am looking forward to experimenting further, using zucchini and summer squash and "every good thing" (if you can name this movie, I'm just going to say, you have issues. Just like me.) now that I've used up all the stuff that was in the freezer.

That's all folks. Chicken Pot Pie: Eat it.

3 comments:

Uncle Joe said...

uh huh!!
That's what I'm taling about...

I've been looking for a good pot pie recipe...

Kimberly said...

Oh. My. That looks heavenly. I can smell it in my mind.

Bee Repartee said...

Made this today and it turned out so well! Thanks for sharing it.