Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Skillet Pot Pie

Yesterday I needed something to warm my heart.  Life can really get to me sometimes, and I just wanted a little comfort.  Preferably in pie form.  Savory pie, of course!  A friend of mine recently mentioned a restaurant in Apple Hill that sells nothing but pot pies.  What a great idea!  I decided to do my own spin on a pot pie.  So that I had only one dish to clean (and for a pretty presentation), I decided to do it all in my very favorite pan - my cast iron skillet.

This skillet pot pie is delicious, but it does take some time to make.  The hands on time is nominal, but it takes about 40 minutes to cook the chicken and another 50 minutes to bake the pie.  A two hour process, but it's really easy.  Plus, it really does warm your heart. 

Read on for the recipe!

This recipe is very adaptable so you can add whatever vegetables and meat you have in the fridge.  Also, if you have small oven-safe dishes, you can make them individual sized.  I really like having a large pot pie, and the skillet gave it a rustic feel.  I didn't add the ubiquitous frozen peas to my pot pie, and I didn't miss them!  I think the secret ingredient in this pot pie is Knorr chicken bouillon, which I found in my cabinet after my mom came to visit me.  She uses it to make chicken and dumplings, and it adds a great chicken flavor! 

Skillet Pot Pie Recipe
serves 2 hungry people


For the filling -
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery ribs
  • half a pint of mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour, I used whole wheat
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • half a stick of butter, about 4 tablespoons
For the pastry topping -
  • Pie crust & herbs (I used thyme)
  • I used pie crust I found tucked in the freezer and I pressed thyme leaves into the top, but here's a recipe for an herbed pie crust that would work wonderfully.
Preheat your oven to 350f.  Cover your chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast them in the oven for 40 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 165f.  

While your chicken breasts are roasting, chop your vegetables.   Cook the onion in a pan with some olive oil until they are translucent.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms last because they cook the fastest.

Next, melt the butter into the vegetables.  We're going to make a roux so we have a thick vegetable filling.  When the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables.  When the vegetables are coated with flour and butter, stir in the chicken stock.  It should deglaze the pan and create a thick gravy.  Last, add the half an half.  I finished this well before my chicken breasts were done cooking, and let it sit on the stove. 

At this point you can make your pie crust.  Cut the pie crust to a circle that will go over your skillet.  Take a small knife or cookie cutter and cut a heart into the top. 

When the chicken breasts are finished cooking, cut them into cubes and stir into the filling.   Place your pie crust over the top of the skillet, and press it into the sides.  I didn't use an egg wash over my crust, so it wasn't shiny, but it was beautifully brown.  Feel free to egg wash yours with 1 egg and some water if you want a shiny crust.  Cut 3 slits into the top of the pie around the heart.

Bake the pie for 50 minutes, or until the top is brown and the filling is bubbling.  Prepare to take a bite and feel like the world is a better place!