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The Hot Dish This Season is Chicken Pot Pie

Or, it might be meatloaf or mac and cheese. So sayeth the New York Times in a recent article about what’s being served at the parties for the fashionables.

Comfort food.

Not that I blame anyone – when I’m feeling poor, done to, anxious, and scared, I reach for childhood favs too. Recently, the DH, the Boy and I went to a brand new restaurant and lo and behold, “Chicken Pot Pie” was on the menu. Now, I have pretty hard and fast rules on what I expect in my CPP and how I expect it to look and so on but I realize that everyone is not Aunt Toby and in an upscale restaurant, they might want to get (as we used to say in my auditing class) ‘a little creative’. After that meal, I decided that I’d go back to MY CPP.

Here’s what I expect in my pie (which frankly is a version of chicken and biscuits, but what the heck): chicken in chunks, a whole lotta veggies also in chunks and a nice creamy sauce. I am not interested in having to play treasure hunt in the sauce for a piece of chicken. What I got in that restaurant was finely diced veggies and shredded chicken under a fancy sort of pastry like affair. The sauce, though was really good and must have had a little bit of white wine in it (which I never seem to have laying around in the fridge; but if I did, I’d add a bit of white wine (or white whine, depending on your mood) to the sauce too.

So, tonight, given that The Boy requested CPP and actually went to the groceria to get ingredients, how could I refuse? This made a big baking pan of CPP, and would probably feed 6-8 adults (depending on whether or not you have a green salad or anything else to fill in the odd tummy crannies). If you have teenage boys, however, I’d double the amount of biscuits you make because they are empty vessels.

Chicken Pot Pie a la Aunt Toby
Chicken: 3 breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
Chicken Stock: two cans of good non-salty chicken stock or the equivalent (I had equivalent since we did a roast chicken over the weekend and I threw the carcass into a pot and made chicken jello(tm) which I DID have in the fridge).
Celery: 8-10 stalks, washed well and the ends trimmed off – cut into 2″ chunks
Onions: 2 big ones, peeled and cut into chunks
Potatoes: 2 big ones, peeled and cut into chunks
Carrots: 4 big ones, cut into 1/4″ thick diagonals
Spices: rosemary, thyme and ground black pepper
Biscuit dough: Multiply the usual cookbook biscuit recipe by 2, make up the dough and leave in the bowl

To Do:
In a big dutch oven, put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute the chunks of chicken with a tablespoon of rosemary and a teaspoon of thyme and good grating of black pepper. When firm, take out with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. There will be liquid left in the pot. Put in the veggies and enough chicken broth to just reach the bottom of the top veggies in the top, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are just becoming tender.

Put some flour on the counter and roll out the biscuits about 1/2 inch thick and cut into whatever shapes you usually do (I use the bottom of a plastic glass but what the heck).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Take out a baking pan (something the size of lasagne pan would work really well) and grease well. Thicken the sauce in the pot with the veggies with whatever method you usually use (my quick and dirty fav is to take out about a half cup of the juice and put in a couple of tablespoons of corn starch but your mileage, as they say, may vary) and pour the chicken into the pot and stir. Taste to see if you need more pepper and then pour the whole deal into the baking pan. And place biscuits on the top.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees until the biscuit tops are browned. Enjoy.

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  1. Lea says:

    My favorite pot pie recipe is from Emeril:

    I substitute chicken for the lobster for my carnivore husband and use veggie broth for the sauce. This recipe will fill two pie plates, so I put chicken and ham in his and chickpeas in mine. Very, very yummy. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make the crust from scratch, otherwise Trader Joe’s makes a decent pie crust.


  2. Shiphrah says:

    Ohhhh, do we ever know about teenage boys and those extra biscuits! When DH & I were first married 15 years ago, all our various children were with us at the same time over the summer. Five kids, ages 10 to 15! So one night I made, among various other things, 4 batches of biscuits. Boyos & girlies dug in. Someone asked for seconds on the biscuits. Passed the basket, to find NONE left. So we polled all the kids: How many did you have? 4, 2, 3, 2 … and then we all looked at elder boyo…. He will never, ever live this down.

    It was about that time, that DH, father of daughters, asked me, sister of brothers and mother of sons, “Do they always eat this much?” To which I replied, “Hunh????” I remember my mother, collapsed on the floor crying after my eldest brother, then 17, came in from football practice and for his afternoon snack ate 2 pies and drank 3 gallons of milk.

    Well, at least it isn’t cocaine……

  3. Toby Wollin says:

    Shiprah — my favorite story is from a friend from grad school who came from a family of 7 kids and she was the oldest and got home first and started cooking and baking as soon as she hit the linoleum floor. Her favorite trick to slow her brothers down was to put raisins in everything: raisins in chocolate chip cookies, raisins in brownies, raisins in everything because they did not like raisins and would spend time de-raisining the item before they’d eat it. So, she’d have time to get one of it herself and make sure the munchkins got to eat a bit of something as well.

  4. hazeldazel says:

    Can you write up your favorite biscuit recipe? I just plain don’t have a good one and my DH is pining after non-store bought biscuits.

    If you have a sausage and gravy recipe you wouldn’t mind sharing too, I’d be so grateful.

  5. htwollin says:

    Just search here on biscuits – there’s a post with a recipe.

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