Chicken pot pie might be the ultimate comfort food-- filling without being too heavy, creamy, and carb-a-licious. It's also a great way to use up languishing veggies, though I made a classic version here. And the skillet? Well, I used to have a Corningware round casserole but I probably gave it away when we moved into our rental, because of the teeny-tiny kitchen with limited storage. I've made do with just a few essentials and one of them is this skillet. I wish it were bigger, but it has served me well! My idea was to make a one-pot chicken pot pie, quick and easy, because three kids really starts to feel like THREE KIDS when the witching hour arrives. I googled around for inspiration, knowing that a skillet pot pie could not possibly be an original idea. A lot of the recipes required various pots and pans, but I eschewed all that in favor of making everything in one skillet. Report from the 5 year old: "I like the chicken pot pie. Can I have more, but with no crust?" The crust, by the way, is delicious but I happened to have given birth to a kid that doesn't really like carbs. [I don't know how that happened...]
- The chicken: I encourage you to buy a whole fryer, and use the parts in various ways. If I'm not roasting the whole chicken, I poach the chicken in a pot. This week, I used the dark meat in chicken soup, I reserved the white meat for this pot pie, and I used the poaching liquid as the base for the chicken soup. The chicken carcass went into the freezer for future stock making. Also, if you leave the whole chicken in the pot after cooking and stick it in the fridge, you can skim the fat off the top the next day, otherwise known as schmaltz, aka your Jewish grandma's preferred cooking fat.
- The crust: You can buy a pie crust at the store. In this case, I had made pate brisee earlier in the week for a pumpkin pie. The recipe yielded two crusts, so I used the other for the pot pie. After putting the crust on the skillet, trim off the parts that hang over, roll it out again and bake yourself some crescent rolls! Just cut into triangles and roll the dough up into a crescent shape. Bake it in the oven while the pot pie is cooking.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
serves a hungry family of 4, with leftovers for lunch
- Two large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
- Two carrots, peeled and diced
- Two stalks of celery, diced
- One large onion, sliced thinly, then chopped
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of AP flour
- a little bit of chicken stock (I didn't measure this but I probably used 1/4 c, maybe less)
- a little bit of whole milk (again, I didn't measure but it was probably 1/4 c, maybe less)
- Thyme, dried or fresh
- Half a package of Frozen peas
- One pie crust, rolled out.
- One egg, beaten.
- salt and pepper, to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350
- In your skillet, heat up your favorite cooking fat, a tablespoon or so, over medium heat.
- Sweat the onions, then throw in the carrots and celery. Sauté until softened. Add some salt.
- Push the veggies to the sides of the pan to make room in the middle. In that space, melt the butter. When it foams, whisk in the flour. You'll probably end up getting some veggies into the mix-- it's fine. Stir it all up.
- Add the milk and chicken stock, and stir everything together. The sauce should thicken as it cooks.
- Add thyme and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let it cook a few minutes to meld the flavors. If there is no liquid, add more stock. You don't want the filling to be a soup but you don't want it to be dry either.
- Stir in the frozen peas. Turn off the heat.
- Cover the top with the pie crust and cut off any dough that is hanging over. I set my dough just inside the skillet but you can cover the rim, if you want. Baste crust with the beaten egg.
- Transfer hot pan to the oven and bake until crust is golden and puffy, about 30 minutes.
- Let the pot pie sit and cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. This is hard, I know, but it will be really hot, for one thing and another, letting it cool will allow the filling to set and become unctuous.