Monday, May 2, 2011

Don't Cry Over Spilled Pot Pie

I remember my mom making a certain dish growing up that we dubbed “the hospital casserole”. Need I explain more? It was prepared for people who were in the hospital, or had loved ones there. I think hers involved tuna and pasta, can’t quite remember as it wasn’t really prepared for me.

I have a dish now that has quickly become “the new baby casserole”. We have had quite a few friends, inside of church and out, that have become new parents or added new babies to the family recently. I find that I keep going to this one particular dish. It’s not so easy to fix, but the reward is a great one. Besides, who can resist the flaky crust, steaming hot filling and wonderful aroma of a CHICKEN POT PIE!

Well, maybe YOU can. But I most certainly cannot. I usually make a double batch so we can have some for a meal that week too.

Yesterday, as soon as Emmy went down for a nap, I put the chicken on the stovetop and ran (er, drove) to Reasor’s to get a few missing ingredients. I came back home and got to work on the pot pies. In about 30 or 40 minutes I had the filling done and was waiting to put it all in the oven. We were visiting a new baby at 530 and I wanted the dish to be fresh out of the oven when we arrived.

Fast forward to 515. I go to pull the dish out of the oven (it was baking on a baking sheet in case of excessively bubbly filling). With my right hand (b/c the other hand can’t operate a hot pad right now) I go to pull the sheet/pan out of the oven. And like a slow motion shot of Wylie Coyote falling over the canyon’s edge, I see my dish falling off of the baking sheet. My left hand had nothing on it so there was no way I was risking a huge burn on it to save the dish.

This is what happened (well, I am sparing you the picture of the dish on the floor). So I scooped it into a pan and VOILA, we now have happy dogs who are enjoying the extra love that’s going into their Pedigree.

This is the recipe I use for homemade (except the pie crust) pot pie. It tastes delicious, it makes your house smell delicious, it looks delicious….but none of this matters when you drop it onto the kitchen floor.


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (I usually just use the bag of frozen veggies: peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (considering the thumb chopping event that took place last weekend, I opted for the frozen chopped variety this time around. They worked beautifully)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (I never have this on hand, so I use dry ranch seasoning)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (someday, I will try a homemade crust)


1. Preheat oven to 425*

2. In a saucepan, combine chicken and veggies. Add water (I use the 1 ¾C broth here to add more flavor to the chicken and veggies)to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions and celery in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust (My next alteration to this recipe will be to cook the bottom crust for a few minutes before adding the liquid mixture). Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. (I would also suggest putting foil around the edges because they tend to get a little overdone @ 425*)

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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