Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Homemade Chicken Potpie

I grew up on those Banquet chicken potpies from the freezer section that you can actually still get on sale for less than a dollar.  My newly eight year old son (how did that happen???) loves them and would make them for dinner a couple times a week if I let him.  Until I found this recipe on an advertisement for pie crust, I never really cared for any other potpies.  I thought they were loaded with too much chicken, or not enough corn, or were too salty.  I like this recipe because you can customize it to what your family enjoys.  I make the chicken ahead of time so it is already cooked.  If it is a quick weeknight dinner, I also use prepared pie dough.  I made this last night and I timed myself so I could put a preparation time on the recipe.  It took me twenty minutes from the time I lined up my ingredients to the time I got in the oven, and that included feeding the baby in the highchair.  My happy discovery from that experiment was that Jack loves little bits of chicken and green peas.  He just gobbled them up!  Enjoy this family favorite for dinner tonight and take the leftovers, if there are any, to work tomorrow.

Chicken Potpie

1 package refrigerated pie crusts or enough pie dough for two crusts
1/3 cup butter
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 - 3 cups shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen green peas

*** These are the amounts of ingredients my family likes.  You can add more or less onion, chicken, corn, and/or peas depending on your family's preferences.  I'm sure turkey and other vegetables would also work in this recipe.  The original recipe calls for mixed vegetables but I can't stand cooked carrots. So corn and peas it is! ***

- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a round pie pan with nonstick spray and place the first pie crust in the bottom of the pan.  If there is excess dough, let it drape over the edges for now.
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Once it is melted, add the onion and let them cook for a couple of minutes until they are soft and fragrant.
- Stir in flour until it is blended.  Immediately after it is all blended, pour the broth and mild into the pan and stir.  As you are stirring, add the salt and pepper to taste.  If you are unsure how much to add, shake a little bit in and taste it.  You can always add more if you need to.
- Keep the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is thickened and bubbly.  This is the point where I always think to myself, "How will I know when it is thick enough?"  The not so helpful answer is that you'll just know.  As long as you don't let it burn, it will turn from broth consistency to more of a gravy consistency.
- Once it has thickened, add your chicken, corn, and peas.  I also retaste at this point to see if I need more salt and/or pepper.
- Pour your mixture into your prepared pie pan and cover with another pie crust.  Using a sharp knife, cut some slits, a fun design, etc. into the top crust and crimp the edges together with the bottom crust.
- Put in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- It's best to let the potpie stand for a few minutes before you slice into it so it can cool off and set.