Growing up, it was a very special treat to spend the night at grandma's house. She never missed watching studio wrestling, and when we watched it, we always ate Banquet chicken pot pies on a TV tray, sitting in the living room.
Sitting in the living room eating anything was special because it was a huge "no-no" at home. When you had five brothers and a sister, Mom and Dad never let anyone eat in the living room. I can only imagine what would end up happening.
The pot pie was special because it was a whole pie just for me. At home I would have had to share it with one of my brothers or my sister. The little foil pan it came in was pretty cool, too.
Chicken pot pie requires only a few ingredients but makes for a hearty mid-winter meal.
I have bought frozen pot pies since then, but they never taste as good. They were mostly gravy with very little meat and vegetables - forget serving that for dinner. The challenge was on, and here are the results.
Like most of my recipes, there are just a few ingredients, and it takes less than an hour to make.
You can make this recipe with just about any leftover meat. I used chicken, but you can use turkey or beef.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups shortening
6-7 tablespoons cold water
Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Divide in half. Form each half into a ball.
On lightly floured surface, flatten one dough ball. Roll from center to edges into 12-inch circle.
To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch it. Transfer filling to pastry-lined pie plate. Trim pastry even with rim of pie plate.
Roll remaining dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Place remaining pastry on top of filling; trim 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Bake as directed. Makes 8 servings.
2 1/2 cups chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 16 oz. jars gravy
Double pie crust
2 cups mixed vegetables
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
Preheat oven to 425
Take a 9-inch pie plate and put one of the crusts in the bottom
Spread mashed potatoes on the bottom, no more than 1 inch thick.
Mix the chopped meat, gravy and mixed vegetables in a bowl and spread on top of the potatoes.
Put the top crust on and pierce holes in the top pie crust to vent the pie.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees F until the gravy bubbles up through the holes in the top crust.
Let the pie cool for 5 minutes and serve it with the extra gravy.
Makes 6 servings.
If you have any leftover homemade mashed potatoes to use, that is always the best, but you can always buy the packaged mashed potatoes from the grocery store.
Choose the flavor of the gravy to complement the type of meat you choose, chicken gravy with chicken, beef with beef and turkey with turkey - it just tastes better that way.
You can make homemade pie crust, but I've used premade crusts and they work fine. If you make your own crust it will take a bit longer than if you use pre-made crusts. Premade crusts cook at a higher temperature. Be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the side of the package. I always put aluminium foil around the edge of the crust to keep it from cooking too fast.
While the pie is cooking, heat the gravy in a separate pan.
This pot pie is a complete meal. Serve it with a side salad and some fresh, crusty bread to sop up the gravy and you have the perfect meal.