Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Clean Out the Frig One-Crust Chicken Pot Pie

I stretched an 8" pie crust into one for a 9" pie--it works, but it shows, too.
We had friends to dinner Friday night for Zucchini Soup with Pistachios (testing soup for the book), Lemon Roast Chicken (a six-pound roaster), Rosemary Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans, and Cherry Pie.  Pretty American, huh?  And lest you think that was too much, we had potato chips and sparkling wine for starters.  Just because I had a sparkler left from the holidays and I'm not embarrassed to say one of my favorite things is champagne and potato chips.   Well... The pie crust was a vegan one to avoid use of dairy (allergies) and I didn't even realize I'd have enough left for an 8 or 9" pie or a pot pie top crust.  (I created my own vegan pie crust--not terribly difficult!  Afterward, I decided to google vegan pie crusts--only to find some people use vodka for the liquid in them.  Who knew?  I might start making vegan pie crusts more often.)

Cooling the pie in the dining room where I won't knock it down like I did last time.

 1.  We ate the leftover soup, stretched with a little milk, and some of the chicken on sandwiches Sunday night while watching (heart throb) Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey requires portable food for trays in the family room.  As we had missed and recorded the first two-hour episode, we had a three-hour Downton feast.   I don't watch tv for three hours hardly ever; this was worth it.


2.  I still have some--not much-- chicken, plenty of potatoes and green beans, and a small piece of pie dough left. (If you had some of the last post's leftovers, you could use them, too, adding some more vegetables.)  Sounded like pot pie, quiche, or even a frittata--though I would have then frozen the pie dough for another time.  Pot pie won the toss and came together like this:

 (For recipe--scroll down.)
A quick cooking of onions, celery, and mushrooms in a teaspoon each of olive oil dried thyme.

Starting the roux for the sauce.

Layering the chicken and potatoes in the greased pie plate.

Adding the leftover green beans, the cooked onion mixture, and the unthawed corn.

The sauce.  I added the parsley here to give it a bit of cooking time.

Sauce over the pie filling.  Dot with butter.

Roll out the pastry and top the pie.
Crimp, vent, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake.

Et voila...dinner.

clean out the frig chicken 1-crust pot pie
   4 servings or a large dinner and a couple of lunches for one

Cook's Notes
 Be careful of your seasoning when working with leftovers as they're already seasoned.  
 If you choose the biscuit version, the pie may be done in less time.  Keep an eye on it. 
  • 1 cup leftover chicken, shredded or cut into 1/2-1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup each leftover cut up (1/2") roasted potatoes, and green beans (any leftover vegetables you have will work--carrots or butternut squash, for instance)
  • 1/4 cup each onions, celery and mushrooms cooked in a teaspoon of olive oil + 1 teaspoon dried thyme  (No celery or mushrooms?--use just onions)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas or frozen corn, unthawed (optional)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups supreme sauce made with milk-instead of cream-- and stock   (This is just milk and chicken stock cooked up with some butter,  salt, pepper, and flour to thicken it.)*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely, added to the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 9-inch pie crust (or six homemade or Bisquick or store bought unbaked biscuits)

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan.
2.  Add chicken, potatoes, and beans to the bottom of the pie plate. Spoon on the cooked onions, celery, mushrooms, with the thyme. Add the peas and corn. Salt and pepper very lightly.
3. Pour the sauce (with the parsley) over all.   Dot with butter.
4. Top with the pie crust and seal/crimp edges around the perimeter of the plate.  Cut several slits in the crust to vent steam.
5. Brush crust with a little milk (1 teaspoon or so) and place pie on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle top of pie with a pinch kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
6. Bake 10 minutes at 425 F /318 celsius. Lower heat to 350F/176 celsius degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve with a little crisp salad and a glass of white wine.

Use within 2 days as the ingredients, which include poultry, are already a day old when you started.

Sauce Info:

*A traditional velouté sauce is rather like a white sauce, but made with stock instead of milk.  I have always made a sauce with about half milk and half stock for my pot pies, but I don't know what to call it.  A supreme sauce is a chicken velouté with heavy cream. So I suppose my pot pie sauce, which I just started making as a young bride, is a kind of a light supreme sauce, but I don't know.  Perhaps the name isn't important; it wasn't when I began cooking.  Here's how I make it:

In a small saucepan, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat.  Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and a good sprinkle each of salt and pepper (white if you have it) and, stirring or whisking, let cook a minute or two.  Slowly add 3/4 cup each milk and chicken stock, whisking very quickly as you do.  Continue cooking and whisking as you bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Let cook a few minutes until thickened just a bit.  (I add the parsley here just to give it a minute's cooking time.) Taste and adjust seasonings. 

Cooks Notes for Sauce:  A table fork will work in the place of a whisk in a pinch.   Some people heat the milk (and stock here) to avoid lumps in the sauce.  If you work quickly and steadily, you'll have no lumps.

I apologize for these pictures (I had to do this at night), but you get the idea.
Have fun taking care of yourself,


  1. Great idea! I always have leftovers in the fridge and most would make a great pot pie. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. @Linda: Make pie; everyone's happy!

  3. Most often I am cooking for one so I am happy to have found both of your blogs.

  4. @bellini I'm happy to see you! I haven't been to your blog since the 50 Women group....just happened to see you on my blog roll and jump over. Thanks for stopping by. Winter warmth:)


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