Yes, it’s warm out. [It was 75 here yesterday!!] But that doesn’t mean comfort food has to go away. I mean, why would you want to make those creamy, cheesy, warm casserole dishes feel sad and lonely? Then they might not be so willing to rush to your side come dark, cold, rainy, snowy, icy nights. As if all those conditions could align simultaneously.
Traditional pot pies [or at least the store-bought variety that many of us think are traditional pot pies] are heavy and filling, tiny vegetables and chicken bits bathed in a heavy sauce covered with a greasy crust. Well, this version doesn’t exclude the vegetables, chicken, sauce, or crust, but it is certainly lightened up and more real than any store variety. The chicken is pan-fried in herbs and spices, and veggies abound in every bite. The crust is light and buttery [my favorite pie crust ever] and is the perfect topping for the creamy filling. Wanna know the best part? Because my chicken pot pie isn’t heavy, it is perfectly acceptable to make on a warm spring day or throughout the heat of summer… perhaps with fresh vegetables from your local farmer’s market! See? You can enjoy your comfort food year-round… just gotta work it in. Enjoy!
Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 recipe All Butter Crust, prepared at least an hour in advance
- olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup Fordhook lima beans [mine were frozen]
- 1 cup corn [mine was frozen]
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup fat free half and half, at room temperature
Make crust. I use this All Butter Crust and only made a top layer, but you could do a dual layer if you want. Be sure to make this crust at least an hour in advance, as it needs time to rest in the refrigerator prior to rolling out. Alternatively, you could use store bought crust or puff pastry sheets.
In a large bowl, stir together carrots, celery, lima beans, and corn. Set aside.
Heat olive oil [just enough to go once around the pan] in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to pan then season with lemon pepper and tarragon. Toss to coat, then saute chicken until fully cooked. Remove from heat and drain oil, if necessary. Mix chicken into the vegetable bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook until golden brown and soft, about 4 minutes. Add flour and stir constantly, making a roux. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until roux darkens slightly. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Cook and stir for another 3 minutes or so while sauce thickens, then remove from heat and stir in half and half. Pour sauce over vegetable and chicken mixture, then transfer mixture to a large casserole dish [I used a 10 inch round casserole dish]. Dish should have a capacity of at least 2-3 quarts.
Roll out crust and gently place over filling, pressing the edges around the dish to seal. Brush top with a beaten egg for shine. Cut small slits in crust for ventilation, then bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, topping with foil halfway through. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Click here for the printable version: Chicken Pot Pie