Chicken Pot Pie is one of those classic, Americana meals, isn’t it? Right up there with meatloaf, bologna sandwiches and Twinkies. With the recent earthquake, and then stupid Hurricane Irene crying wolf in some areas and causing big flooding in others, and the stock market going up and down more than Tara Reid’s sobriety level, it’s always good to have certain meals you can always count on, and chicken pot pie is surely one of them.
There are countless variations of this recipe and this is something I came up with on my own after playing around with different versions.
For starters, I like to roast the vegetables initially. I’ll get an assortment of frozen vegetables – peas, carrots, green beans, corn – the usual. Or whatever I have on hand – I’m sure everyone has their favorites as well. Roasting the veggies first provides a nice layer of flavor and keeps them from being crunchy and almost raw.
While the veggies are roasting up in the oven, I cook the chicken – go with white or dark, whatever you like best. I sauteed breast tenders on the stove with a little oil and butter. Once they’re sauteed, give them a rough chop into bite-size chunks. At this point, you can also boil an egg or 2 – I also like hard boiled egg whites – again, it’s another layer of flavor as well as texture. The boiled egg is not integral here and this dish certainly has enough going on, but it’s a nice-to-have that makes everything a little more wholesome.
Once the chicken is cooked, you’ll want to sweat some chopped onion and garlic – can you see how all these different flavors will be coming together? Stock market? Hurricane who?
Make sure you pull the veggies out once they’re giving off a nice roasted smell and appear slightly browned. While the chopped onion and garlic are cooking up – heat a regular size can of cream soup with some milk and butter as well. As you can see, this is a multi-tasking casserole. Once the onions are translucent and slightly browned, remove from heat. Heat the soup mixture just enough to melt the butter and get it thoroughly hot. Now it’s time to combine everything.
Add the onions and garlic to the soup mixture. Then add in the chopped chicken, chopped egg and roasted vegetables. Combine all of this thoroughly and add to a greased casserole dish. Now it’s time to add the topping – which, to me, is just as important as the pot pie itself. I like to use a biscuit topping – something like Jiffy biscuit mix in the box will work fine. Follow the directions for the biscuit mix and just pour on top of the casserole. Add small pieces of butter all over the top to give it a nice flavor and color.
Bake it off in the oven until the biscuit mix on top is a nice golden brown and the casserole is bubbling on the sides. I feel like I’ve written a novel here and I know this seems like it will take forever, but it really won’t. As long as you get everything prepped and have everything cooking as close together as possible, it’s not difficult to put together. Besides, it sure beats trying to figure out the stock market and debt ceiling, right? Kick back with a big ole serving of this chicken pot pie and you’ll forget you ever heard about a stupid old debt ceiling . . .