Originally posted March 12, 2008
As a single man in the city, I sometimes struggle with the concept of eating well. Sometimes eating well to me is not eating the entire bag of tortilla chips. I was discussing the process of making dinner with a coworker and he talked about making chicken pot pie by opening the box and putting it in the oven. This seemed fundamentally wrong to me, though I am just as guilty on relying upon frozen dinners for sustenance. I decided to attempt to create a chicken pot pie.
The result was an unqualified success, and the process was so simple that I felt a compulsion to share.
Here is the basic recipe:
1/2 chicken breast (roughly 1/4 pound of chicken)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I only buy vegetable broth in case I have to cook for a vegetarian, chicken broth obviously would work as well)
2 tbsp of flour
1/4 cup of water
1 pie crust
Add the chicken, vegetables, and broth to a pot and bring it to a boil. Mix the flour and water together to form a nice slurry and drizzle into the boiling broth. Stir thoroughly and reduce the heat so it goes to a simmer. Flour needs to cook for awhile to eliminate the cereal taste, but this is just the first cooking step. The next step is to transfer the ‘filling’ into an oven-safe bowl and lay pie crust on top. Pop the bowl on a cookie sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for roughly fifteen minutes or until the crust is all browned. I pulled mine out just a bit too soon and missed out on having a nice golden crust. If I would have brushed it with butter, I could have gotten that delicious golden look. I was content with this result, though.
Now you might notice that this isn’t a true ‘pie’ since there is no bottom crust. Nothing is stopping you from laying down a bottom crust in the bowl, baking that while cooking the filling and then finishing it off as I described above. I just happen to dislike the sogginess of the bottom of pot pies so avoid it completely.
For the pie crust I used the stuff you can find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, usually near the biscuits in a tube. Its cheap, you get two in a box, and it serves the purpose without having to take the pains of actually making pie crust. Or, if you like your crust more flaky, track down some puff pastry to place on top of the filling or some of those biscuits in a tube might serve as a tasty topper to this meal.
Some words of caution… the gravy is HOT when it comes out of the oven. I had to let this cool for a good five minutes before I could attempt to eat it.