It’s Not Swanson, but…

When I was a kid all I longed for was processed, artificially flavored and preservative laden food. What I got was all-natural, homemade and hippy-dippy food. My mother tortured me with her denial of Lucky Charms and Skippy Peanut Butter! And I believe I’ve mentioned before how scarred that “summer of carob” has left me. (Mind you she’s now the woman who shows up with mammoth sized Jet-Puffed marshmallows for my kids and is shocked that they don’t know what Twinkies are. Sigh. Clearly she’s still out to torture me.) Anyway, the one less than all-natural delight that somehow made it under her radar were frozen pot pies. And oh how I loved them!

Fast forward 30 years and low-and-behold it turns out that I’m a hippy-dippy food feeding mom as well. However unlike my bratty junk-food desiring childhood self, my children actually think my all-natural tendencies are great! They seriously don’t know (and really aren’t interested in finding out) what Twinkies or frozen pizza taste like. Amazing, right? Maybe they were switched at birth… However all that being said, I still think fondly of those frozen pot pie nights and while I’m not racing out to fill my freezer with them, I decided to try and recreate one of my favorite childhood tastes for my own little loves.

The carrots weren’t perfectly cut little squares, there were pearl onions in the gravy and it didn’t come in a lovely aluminum pie dish, but this chicken pot pie was good enough that even eight year old me might have considered it worth eating. Especially if it came along with an ice cold bottle of Yoo-hoo…

Chicken Pot Pie
This recipe makes enough filling for two pies, we had one for dinner and I froze the other one (unbaked) for use another night. However feel free to half the recipe if you only want to make one pie.

3 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups frozen pearl onion, defrosted
1 leek, sliced thin
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cups frozen peas
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 sheets puff pastry (or 2 prepared pie crusts)
1 egg, for wash
1 tbsp. water, for wash

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the chicken, pearl onions and leeks until nearly cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer everything to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the carrots and celery to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have begun to soften. Stir in the peas and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Slowly add the milk mixture to the veggies in the pan and stir until thickened. Add back the chicken, onions and leek and stir until blended.
  4. Spoon the chicken and vegetable mixture into two 9-inch deep dish pie plates. Cover with the puff pastry (or pie crust). In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 1 tbsp. of water. Brush the egg wash over the top of the pie, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*adapted from megan barry


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