Essentially homemade chicken pot pie

Even though it's somehow basically summer again outside here in Atlanta, last week was absolutely frigid. so naturally I made my favorite cold-weather dinner: chicken pot pie.

I love this recipe because you can be as complicated or no-frills as you want to be with it. I think the most important part of a recipe is that it should be reasonably doable on an average night. So I took a potentially complicated, exhausting recipe and made it just that. Here's how:
  • Homemade crust? Sure, if you're into that kinda thing. Me, I don't have any kinda time for that business. Who wants to spend 5 hours making a (extremely temperamental) pie crust before even starting to cook dinner? Not this moi.
  • Another potential point of debate: the frozen veggies. Look. Look. Listen. Listen. Look. Come on, who really likes celery? I find no shame in grabbing the organic Publix-brand frozen mixed veggies that come in the exact amount that I need. aka more of what I want for less effort. I pick that.
  • Optional white wine aka an excuse to buy a bottle of white wine. Even if you're not into wine, it really does enhance the flavors, so don't skip it unless you really have to.
  • Final point of flexibility: the protein. If you've got a leftover chicken breast or two that you can cook and chop up: go for it. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery and pull the meat off--sometimes it's cheaper than buying raw chicken, plus it's already cooked! Have leftover chicken from a roast? Use that. Lots of room for flexibility here.
Special Thanksgiving hint: this recipe is AMAZING with leftover turkey. Do yourselves a favor and set aside 2 cups of turkey so you can make this--it's WAY better than turkey sandwiches, I promise.

Okay, enough defending my choices. Just try it and you'll see for yourself. My family requests this over and over again, and it might just be what snags me a husband one of these days. It's that good.

Laura's Chicken Pot Pie

1 pie crust (if you get the two-pack from the store, freeze one for next time!)
1/2 stick butter
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
2 cups chopped or shredded chicken (or turkey!)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
splash of white wine (optional) (not really)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1/4 tsp thyme (or to taste. I use dried/ground because lazy)

Preheat oven to 400.

(Cook your chicken and shred it up if you haven't already.)

Melt butter in a large skillet. Toss in frozen veggies and, stirring, cook until heated through (a couple minutes). Add the chicken and stir, coating the chicken in the remaining butter. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to coat. Cook over medium for a couple minutes (this helps the chicken and veggies stand up to the liquids).

Pour in broth, stirring constantly to deglaze (get the crispy stuff off the bottom) the pan. Let it return to a simmer and add a splash of white wine. Stir and let return to a simmer. Then add heavy cream.

Bring to a slow boil and let simmer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens a little to an almost gravy-like consistency. While simmering, add salt, pepper and thyme. I hardly ever measure these things (#YOLO) I just keep adding and tasting until I'm happy with it.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish or pie dish (at least 9-in). Unroll the pie crust and carefully place over the mixture, and press the edges into the side of the dish (so the insides don't boil out). Slice vents in the top of the crust.

Bake 30-40 mins or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool just slightly before serving (because the inside will be at molten lava temperatures).

Make it tonight!


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