Who doesn’t love comfort food? I have been looking forward to cooler days all year. With the hot, hot, hot summer, no breeze in the town I live, and a rough year of California fires, I have been looking forward to being inside with hot food since spring.
Last week my sister and I got pot pies in a pinch at Whole Foods. They had the best flaky crust. It must have had shortening or butter, or both.
I haven’t made my pot pies in 2.5 years, since my grandma was in the hospital for a Whipple surgery. She survived pancreatic cancer, by the grace of God, and is cancer-free. She’s off in Minnesota right now visiting her family.
I made one of these pot pies for my grandpa while he was home alone.
About 3 years ago, I made pot pie for the first and modified the recipe from the start.
When I make pot pie, I go off Ina’s recipe. I make her sauce, and start the meal the same, but I make several modifications:
- I buy a roasted chicken at Safeway.
- I add more veggies.. broccoli specifically.
- I do not make my own crust. I buy puff pastry.
A roasted chicken might be a few more bucks, but it’s so much easier. The flavor is better too, with the juices of all the other chickens falling onto the others. They are browned to perfection. It just makes sense. Back in the day when I used to cook almost every night, I used to buy roasted chickens for many different meals. You can pull the meat off and make tacos easily. They are also a great buy if you are cooking something else that takes awhile, like brussel sprout salad. I will include that recipe soon! It’s a complete warm salad with bacon and hard boiled eggs.
Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies, and when I read Ina’s recicpe it seemed to lack some green. So I add about 3 cups of broccoli florets, chopped up.
Lastly, I buy puff pastry because it’s easy, and good lord it tastes good. Nobody will complain if you serve puff pastry. Trust me. I have made homemade chocolate croissants before, so I know how to make dough. But come on, we know it takes awhile. Puff pastry is fool proof.
With all these cheat steps, it makes this meal much quicker to prepare! It says total on Ina’s recipe it will take 1 hour, 55 mins total to prepare. I shave about a half an hour off that time.
I will give you a run through on the steps I go through to make this meal.
- Heat butter in a pan and add 2 cups of chopped onions. Add salt to sweat the onions.
- Heat 5 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan, and add 2 chicken bouillon cubes.
- Cut the white meat off the chicken, chop the carrots and broccoli. Add all of it to one bowl.
- After the onions have cooked for 15 mins, add flour. Let the raw flour cook for a minute or two. At this point I added another T. of butter.
- Then add all of the chicken broth and let it thicken. Stir it up a bit and combine;.
- Add 1/4 cup half and half, and add salt and pepper. Ina’s recipe calls for heavy cream but I bought half and half. Just because then I can use the rest of the jar. You can add it to coffee and such. If I buy heavy cream I won’t use it and the rest of the bottle will go to waste.
- Stir cream and everything. Then you grab the bowl with all other contents–chicken and veggies–and add them to pot of everything. Add frozen peas.
- Add this whole thing to the pot you plan to cook it in. I like using my round souffle pot, but I have also used 9×13 ceramics. I just think the round pot is pretty nice.
- Roll out your puff pastry and put it on top.
- Make sure you cut some holes with a fork so the steam can escape. I didn’t do this the first time I made this, but I learned my lesson.
Also, I learned another lesson tonight! If the pot is very, very full with pot pie filling, remove a bit of it. Tonight mine spilled out of the pot and got my oven pretty dirty. Well, I will clean that.. later. Tomorrow or something.
I never used to be a proponent of semi-homemade, but it works if you are busy. Also, sometimes semi-homemade is better. For example, almost all the time now I use cake mixes, but make homemade frosting. If chefs like Giada are using cake mixes, why would we normal folk make our own cakes? Cake mixes are far more moist. Chefs and scientists perfect the recipes perfectly, so we don’t have to.
This meal is so filling and good. I just grab some filling and grab a piece of the puff pastry.
Questions for you
- Do you ever make pot pie?
- Which recipes do you use?