Chicken Pot Pie to Warm and Delight You

Baby,  it’s cold outside! Quick, let’s prepare something warm to eat.

But not a sweet. That’s because one reader e-mailed a tiny complaint: I publish too many dessert recipes. Many people are trying to eat better and lose weight.

Duly noted, dear reader. And yes, it’s true that I’d rather make dessert than prepare entrees or side dishes or salads or just about anything else. Except maybe bread and pasta, which aren’t exactly diet foods, either.

So instead of publishing something like Mr. Economou’s holiday baklava recipe, I’ll offer you my half-the-calories chicken pot pie recipe.

When I set out to develop a pot pie recipe, I wanted one that was quick to prepare during this hectic holiday season, but one that also tasted good, and wasn’t fattening.

To cut the time, I used frozen vegetables (I love those baby peas and tiny pearl onions), and frozen cubed chicken that I cut and saved from the last time I had leftover chicken. Also, unless you happen to have pie dough discs waiting in your freezer, I encourage you to use prepared, store-bought pie dough.

Finally, here are my two biggest secrets for cutting the pot pie calories in half: First, instead of a making a bottom and top crust, ala traditional Banquet pot pies, I only put a crust on pot pie’s top. The bottom goes crustless.

Second, cut the portion sizes in half and dole them out in individual servings. For example, I used small coffee cups, which held less than 2/3 cup of the chicken filling. A small cup of pot pie with a salad on the side should be plenty of food, and makes a nice balanced meal.

If someone decides to eat two pot pies, that’s not our problem.

We did our part.

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Doni’s Herbed Chicken Pot Pie

4 T. butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
4 T. flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
2 cups total frozen vegetables: peas, carrots, pearl onions, etc.
1 egg, beaten, with a little water

Saute in a large pot over medium heat until tender the onions, shallots and herbs.

Stir in the flour and cook until the floury taste is gone.

Add the chicken broth and white wine. Simmer and stir until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Add the frozen vegetables. As the sauce cools, roll out enough pie dough to cut 8 tops, including enough excess on each piece to hang down over each cup’s top edge. (I hope this makes sense. If not, look closely at the picture, above. Imagine the dough discs are lids fitting on and over a jar lip.)

Spoon enough filling into each modestly sized cup or small bowl so it nearly reaches the top. Brush the cups’ top lip with the egg wash, including a little ways down the outside edge, so the dough will stick to the cups. Set a dough disk on each cup top, pressing firmly around the edges to hold in place.

Make a tiny steam-escape slit in the top of each dough top. Brush the dough with the egg wash, then sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and dried oregano or rosemary.

Set the cups on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated, 375-degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

Serve hot. Makes about 8 small pot pies. (More or less, depending upon the size of your pot pie containers.)

Note: This is a best-of recipe, originally published in 2007, back when we had about 2,000 unique monthly visitors, compared with the current number of about 60,000 per month.

 

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

 

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Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Canda says:

    I love this idea of individual pot pies. I usually just open a couple cans of Cream of Chicken soup for pot pie, but this sounds much better. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks, Doni!

  2. Avatar Terry says:

    And I Love your humor…."if someone decides to eat two…" I'm still chuckling.

    Thank you for the stress-reducing humor, and the tummy warming fantastic recipe.

    I can't wait to try it!

  3. Avatar teenstar78insf says:

    I must make this.

  4. Avatar Lynn Guinn says:

    mmmmmmmmmmm This just sounds like comfort. Thanks, Doni!

  5. Jennifer Jewell Jennifer Jewell says:

    I am making this for the night my father arrives for the Christmas holiday on the 21st – seems a welcoming meal for my guests and the solstice – Thanks Doni! Homemade chicken pot pie is the perfect comfort food….

  6. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    Hey Doni:

    I was at Holiday on Placer and they have a big display of Flicks, several types. It has been a few years since you wrote about missing them, but the loyalists remember.

  7. Avatar michelle says:

    I saw a display of Flicks last month in Oregon. It seemed to be the he tube was larger than the old days, but still the same attractive shiny foil tube. Or is it my memory? Oh, and they cost more.

  8. Avatar Bill Collins says:

    I just made 6 mini chicken pot pies using 1 cup size custard bowls,. I also used a Cornish pasties pie dough recipe for the crust. My wife & daughter LOVED it for dinner, my wife usually eats half portions, but went through two of the mini pot pies in minutes.

    I feel so proud, but only THANKS TO YOU!

    I can send the pie crust recipe if you'd like, it's simple and easy to make, especially if you have a pie crust rubber-type mat to roll out the dough. Which to me is the hardest part, once you have the dough rolled out on a board or counter, getting it off without sticking and falling apart, is the worst.

    Again… LOVED IT!

    • Avatar Bill Collins says:

      Who said "FLICKS" ?

      A bit of trivia… the very first commercial jingle I ever sang was for FLICKS, this was back in 1963. The jingle writer saw my folk group singing at the hungry i, in San Francisco, and asked us if we'd sing a jingle. We agreed, and the jingle was for FLICKS.

      "Flicks, taste a choca-lot bet-ter, from Ghirardelli-e-e-e….."

      That was the lyric. I still remember the melody too! Some things never go away.

  9. Avatar Bill Collins says:

    PS: As long as I had the Cornish pastie pie dough (I only used 1/5th of the recipe for the chicken pot pies) I made Cornish pasties which are baking as I write this.

    I've made pasties for years, tryin different recipes, etc. since I can't quite seem to remember my mom's recipe, I know I'm forgetting something, but can't quite recall.

    Thanks for the inspiration for cooking on a slow mid-week holiday afternoon.

    Now off to a party!

    c u L8'r