CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Pot Pie

TV dinners have been around for quite some time, probably almost as long as televisions, so we’re talking the late 1940s or early 1950s.

As a kid, I remember chowing down on TV dinners before going away to college. And being a typical college kid ― with very little extra money ― I ate quite a few of them when living off-campus.

Some of my favorite TV dinner entrees were the pot pies from Swanson. If I recall, they came in chicken, turkey and beef varieties. I didn’t really have a preference because they all did what they needed to do ― get something in my belly in a relatively short time.

Recently, my brother, Kevin, sent me a photo of a chicken pot pie that he had made. It looked so good that I asked him for the recipe. It turns out the recipe came from the website pioneerwoman.com.

I haven’t tried my hand at making the pot pie yet, since gardening, canning and hunting have kept me busy. But I do expect to make it in the not-too-distant future.

Here’s the recipe, if any of my readers care to give it a shot. And if you do, let me know what you think. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

As Kevin told me, “This tastes very good.”

Pot Pie
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely diced onion
½ cup finely diced carrot
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup whole-kernel corn (optional)
½ cup peas (optional)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
¼ cup flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Splash Of white wine (optional)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
Salt And pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh thyme to taste
¼ cup half-and-half or cream
1 whole unbaked pie crust
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir them around until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the chicken or turkey and then sprinkle the flour over the top and stir it until it’s all combined with the meat and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the chicken broth (and wine if using) and stir it around and let it cook and thicken.
Once it starts to thicken add the turmeric, salt, pepper and thyme.
Add the half-and-half or cream, then stir the mixture and let it bubble up and thicken, about 3 minutes. If it seems overly thick, splash in a little more broth. Turn off the heat.
Pour the filling into a 2-quart baking dish. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface and lay it over the top of the dish. Press the dough so that the edges stick to the outside of the pan. Use a knife to cut little vents here and there in the surface of the dough.
Mix together the egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush it all over the surface of the crust. (You will have some egg wash left over.)
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly. To prevent the crust from getting too brown, you might want to cover it lightly with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking time.

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