Chicken Pot Pie

chicken pot pie

More comfort food!  This pot pie borrows an idea from English Shepherd’s Pie and uses a mashed-potato “crust” instead of the usual pie crust or biscuit topping.  Again: totally from scratch.

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ½ onion
  • 1 4-oz can mushroom pieces and stems
  • 2 cups non-fat half and half (fat free light cream – I know, it’s an oxymoron)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • Paprika

Put the chicken, broth, bay leaf, thyme and pepper in a pot and bring to a boil.  When mixture boils, turn heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked but not tough. While chicken is simmering, scrub and peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 ½ inch chunks.   Set potatoes aside.  Scrub celery and cut into 1 inch pieces.  Scrub and peel carrots and cut into 1 inch pieces.  Peel and chop onion.

Scoop the chicken out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove and discard bay leaf. Add the potatoes to the broth and bring the broth up to a boil.  When the broth boils, turn the heat down to medium and let potatoes cook until you can pierce them with a fork, about 12-15 minutes.  When potatoes are done, strain the broth into a wide skillet and bring it back to boil.  Try to remove as much of the broth from the potatoes as possible.  It should total about 2 cups.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and drained mushrooms to the skillet and cook on a high, rolling boil. 

While vegetables are cooking, put one cup of non-fat half and all of the butter into a large microwave-proof mug or measuring cup and microwave for about 1 ½ minutes until butter is melted and liquid is hot, but not boiling.  Pour the butter/half and half mixture into the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or blend them with a hand mixer.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside

Preheat the broiler on high.  When the vegetables are cooked but still slightly firm, and the broth has been absorbed and boiled down to almost nothing, whisk flour into the remaining one cup of half and half until completely dissolved (alternatively you can put them in a jar, close the lid and shake well).  Add half and half mixture to the skillet and stir well.  Correct seasoning.  When mixture is thick, add frozen peas.  Cook for only about a minute or until mixture comes to a boil again.

Spoon the filling into a 6-cup casserole dish.  Spoon mashed potatoes on top, covering the filling completely.  Smooth potatoes and spray with non-stick spray.  Broil until mashed potatoes are nicely browned on top.  Sprinkle top of potatoes with paprika.  Serves six.

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