I haven't been a fan of chicken pot pies, but all that changed when a dear friend brought a beautiful homemade one to us for dinner. It just spelled out comfort and love when I was sick. I resolved to immediately change my ways and found a recipe from The Pioneer Woman that we all love. The flaky homemade crust is the secret weapon, but you could always use a storebought crust to save time. Her recipe calls for just putting a crust on top, but I've also made it adding a bottom crust, both ways are wonderful. Perfect meal for these cold winter nights!
Turkey/Chicken Pot Pie
1 pie crust (1/2 of Perfect Pie Crust recipe)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or chicken)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Frozen peas (optional)
Fresh thyme, chopped (or use dried)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.) Add turkey/chicken and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.) Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs. Pour mixture into a deep pie pan.
Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using. Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.
Perfect Pie Crust
■1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
■3 cups All-purpose Flour
■1 whole Egg
■5 Tablespoons Cold Water
■1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
■1 teaspoon Salt
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.