Growing up, I never once had pot pie for dinner. I seem to remember my mom recalling horror stories of her childhood: forced to sit at the dining table for hours until the pot pie she absolutely detested was eaten. She hated it as a child, and so she never served it to her children.
Flash forward many years and I found myself in the kitchen this afternoon with no idea what to make for dinner. We’ve tightened our budget a bit the past couple months, so I couldn’t go to the grocery store for any ingredients. Plus, I like being creative and resourceful. So, I opened up the fridge and freezer to take a quick inventory: frozen chicken breasts, pie crust (left over from Christmas baking), homemade chicken broth and a slew of vegetables that were only a day away from going bad. How could all these pieces come together to form a dinner??
I basically dumped the contents of our fridge and freezer into a pot and dinner was born. And, may I add, it was delicious!
However, when I put the dinner plate in front of Evie she gave me a look much like I imagine my mom gave to my grandmother long ago. Without even sniffing the meal she looked up at me with TEARS in her eyes and declared, “Mom, if I eat this I am going to THROW UP!!!!!” I had already taken a bite, and I knew she would like it – after all, what kids don’t like chicken, carrots, peas and pie crust?! So, I resorted to bribing: if she took a bite, I’d make her rice krispy treats for dessert. Weighing her options, she bravely but tentatively took a bite.
Her eyes lit up.
She exclaimed, “Mom, I love this! This is my favorite dinner!”
Maybe I should try making it for my own mom someday…but if she doesn’t like it I won’t make her sit at the table till well past her bedtime!
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
7 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced small
5 carrots, peeled and diced small
16 oz shredded potatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 portobello mushroom tops, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth, warmed
1 cup frozen peas
2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
pie crust, store bought or homemade
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot and add onions and carrots. Cook until starting to soften. Add shredded potatoes and stir well. Once potatoes heat through, add garlic and mushrooms. Stir until fragrant. Add thyme and bay leaves. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add flour and whisk until flour absorbs all the butter. Slowly add in chicken broth, whisking constantly. Bring broth to a boil, whisking frequently. Once broth thickens, continue whisking for another minute or two.
Stir peas and chicken into veggies. Pour in thickened broth and stir well to combine. Pour into 13×9 baking dish and top with pie crust. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
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