Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Meals: Chicken Pot Pie

Besides its spectacular taste, this recipe brings back wonderful memories for me. During my 4 years as a student at Bryan College, I was very active on the yearbook staff. I spent countless hours each week designing layouts, gathering photos and copy, editing pages, and helping to produce a meaningful record of the school’s year. Our staff advisers, Jon & Karin Carpenter, shared wisdom, encouraged us, and supported us through all the deadlines and in spite of our issues with “ladders.” And… oh yes, they fed us!

As I recall, it was a weekly ordeal. We would gladly shirk our cafeteria duties, traipse down to the Rankin building, and inhale some homemade delicacies, which would give us energy to work long into the night. Of the many marvelous meals I ingested, this one was my favorite. Before I graduated, I begged Karin for the recipe, and she gladly obliged. Every time we make this recipe, we think of her, and I share it here with her blessing.

A warning: this is not a simple recipe. It takes more than an hour to make. We also recommend that more than one person work on this together. But we can definitely vouch for the awesomeness of this recipe.

These are the ingredients we use, although I accidentally photographed beef bouillon, when the recipe actually calls for chicken bouillon.

If you’re making this recipe alone, we recommend chopping up the veggies before beginning to make the rest of the recipe. The carrots and potatoes are not cooked first, so they need to be sliced/cubed very small or they will be crunchy.

The first step of the process is to smell the tantalizing aroma of onions, celery, garlic, butter, and chicken cooking in the pot.

Once the chicken is browned, make a rue by adding flour and stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. I had never heard of a “rue” before, but it’s basically thickening the juices so the filling isn’t so soupy.

Next, pour in the chicken broth (after you’ve taken away the heat) and keep stirring with the whisk.

This is where you’ll be thankful you’ve already chopped up the vegetables – just dump them in!

Then spoon into a pan for the oven. This usually fills a 13x9” pan and an 8x8” pan for us.

We also like to add some seasoning to the filling before covering the top with pie crust.

Finally you’ve earned an hour’s break while it bakes in the oven.

This is an entire meal all by itself.

And there’s usually enough for a day or two of leftovers (though I can’t promise it will disappear in your house if you have enough consumers).

Karin Carpenter’s “Just Winging It” Chicken Pot Pie

1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup butter (or ¼ cup with ¼ cup olive oil)
4 chicken breasts cut in cubes
½ cup flour 
1 tablespoon chicken base (or bouillon cubes) 
2½ cups water 
4-5 medium potatoes 
8 oz. carrots, sliced VERY THIN 
1.5 pounds potatoes, cubed VERY SMALL 
small bag of peas (or 2 cups peas and 2 cups corn) 

  1. In large dutch oven or pot on stovetop, sauté first four ingredients for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken; brown 'til cooked.
  3. While still over medium high heat, whisk in flour, stir constantly for about 3 minutes (make a rue).
  4. Remove from heat, add chicken base to water, and then stir broth into pot. Stir constantly with whisk.
  5. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas and stir.
  6. Pour in large casserole dish or 9 x 13” pan.
  7. Roll out pie crust and place on top.
  8. Slit crust, bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.


  1. Hmmnnn... I think there is a bit of a grey area here as to whether it is actually a PIE. After all, it doesn't have a bottom crust. You couldn't pick up a piece of that with your hand/s and eat it like you can with a pie. Maybe it is more like a bake. Well, what ever it is, I bet it tastes darn delicious! ︶︹︺

    1. Haha true - I guess you could bake it differently, like in a pie pan with a bottom crust too. Either way, you're right - it is delicious!


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