Over the next few weeks, you need a little evening comfort to get you through the insanity that defines the holiday season. Here’s a straightforward and foolproof formula for one of my favorite belly warmers – homemade chicken pot pie.
One problem with chicken pot pie recipes is that many are way too complicated. I promise, mine is not. Another problem is that the white roux intended to bind the chicken and veggies is often either too runny or too gummy. Here, the sauce is balanced. Feel free to substitute your favorite ingredients, but the keep the proportions the same. I like to roast my own chicken beforehand and make an herby pie crust with fresh rosemary, but for the sake of sanity, you can certainly use rotisserie bird and store bought pastry.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped fresh carrots
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup chicken stock
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or roughly chopped
1 pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil to medium high and sauté onion, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes or until fairly soft. Turn off heat and set aside. In a separate large skillet, heat butter until melted, then add flour. Whisk, or stir well with a roux spoon. Add chicken stock and milk, and whisk or stir until mixture thickens (within a couple of minutes). Add salt, pepper, rosemary, peas, chicken, and sautéed vegetables and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Spray a pie plate (deep dish, preferably) with cooking spray and fill it with mixture. Top with crust. Crimp edges, cut slits in the center and brush surface with an egg white. Bake 50 minutes or until crust is golden and inside is hot and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing.