Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's Cooking: Chicken Pot Pie

To me the best part of a pot pie is the crust. I love pot pies and remember that being one of my favorite meals to whip up as a kid. How hard was it to pop one in the oven? I was young, naive and without a ton of kids at the time.

I still like pot pies, but I prefer making mine from scratch. It is healthier without all the sodium of the convenient, store-bought one serving pot pie. I forgo the crust to prevent fights because family dinner time is supposed to be a good thing, a time for bonding. Instead of crusts, I whip up a batch or two or three of homemade biscuits. While those are baking I make the pot pie filling.

Okay, I did say healthier but I must admit the batch I made this week might have had less sodium than a store bought version, but oh, the yummy fat was there. Shame I know, but it was really good. I used butter (unsalted and homemade) and cream in place of evaporated milk. It was what I had on hand. Darn!

I like making this recipe when I have leftover turkey or chicken. It was turkey this time. So I fudged a bit, it's Turkey Pot Pie that's cooking. A bag of frozen mixed veggies is easy to add. The hardest part of the recipe is cutting up the celery and onions.

What is so nice is that this recipe is freezer friendly. You can whip up a double batch and freeze half for a later time. You can freeze the biscuits too but I always run out of biscuits before I can ever do that.

Below is the recipe ... take note that this is a versatile recipe. You can make it healthier by using skim evaporated milk. I have and it still tastes yummy. The only difference is being able to fit in your jeans in the morning. There are other ways to make it healthier like using fat free chicken broth. You can adjust the vegetables by using what you have on hand or fresh even. I find using frozen mixed veggies saves prep time. The picky eaters just pick out which ones they don't like. There is no pleasing everyone in this house unless it is meatloaf for dinner.

Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie
(makes 6 servings or 2 pies)

1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, choppped
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup evaporated milk
4 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Saute onions and celery in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until tender. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, vegetables, salt and pepper. Heat through.

To Serve: Serve immediately hot over biscuits.

To Freeze: Let filling cool. Divide in half and freeze in one gallon freezer bags.

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