I love chicken pot pie. I have since I was a kid. The only kind I’ve ever really had was the American kind, which is to say a frozen, personal pie from a package with a name like Grandma Marge’s Chicken Pot Pie, Tastes Just Like Homemade. We have a lot of things in America that claim to taste just like homemade, and I suppose it’s true since most things growing up in my home came from the freezer. Frozen food—a taste of home!
Isobel loved this. She loves chicken and bacon and didn’t hesitate to scarf down the mushrooms or carrots, for that matter. (Ignore the giant starwberry stain on the floor. She’s been very into strawberries lately and we have sticky red bits all over the kitchen floor and on select surfaces where her little hands like to go. Also, her face might be permanently stained red. She kind of looks bloodthirsty.)
It took a Brit to introduce me to an “American” chicken pot pie that actually was homemade. Traditionally English pot pies are filled with lamb and vegetables in a savory sauce and coated with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. I’ve never seen a lamb pot pie in an American store before, but I have fond memories of the chicken kind baked in a pastry. The dough itself is always salty and some part of it nearly burns before the whole thing is cooked through. In reality they taste pretty terrible but I always enjoyed it because I love the idea of a pot pie more than the actual pie itself.
When I found this pot pie recipe in Nigella’s Express cookbook, I felt that this is what I should have been eating all those years. While I do agree that for under an hour this pie is express for a pie, I really don’t think it’s the kind of thing I could throw together at the last minute. I need time to get this together, especially since my version of this dish includes more vegetables than the Sainted Domestic Goddess’ version.
I’m not going to write this whole recipe out since it can be found in its entirety here, but American readers will need to preheat the oven to 425 F, use a regular package of mushrooms (8 oz, I think?), cut up about 12 chicken breast tenders, 1 ½ cups stock and 2 tablespoons Marsala. I also cut up a couple of carrots and some celery and added it when I added the chicken. At the last minute before I filled the pastry I added some frozen peas.
Since we had pastry left over and nothing else to use it up with I used a star-shaped cookie cutter to make little star puffs to serve with. I just popped those in the oven for about five minutes while I saw to the sauce and they came out beautifully puffed and golden.
Star taste test:
I love how the top of the pie puffed up like a glorious hat. The best part is cracking down the center of the pie with your spoon and scooping up the creamy chicken and mushroom filling. I nearly died of happiness just smelling it cook and I burned myself repeatedly trying to eat it before it had properly cooled. Anthony loves this also and was the guinea pig for the star puffs. Fortunately they were delicious and not poisoned.
This is perfect for a weekend meal when you have a bit more time and want to make something extra yummy.
It looks so fancy I couldn’t help but be proud of myself.
I’d love to make this for friends sometime, if any of you would like to come over for dinner.
I promise my toddler won’t eat you.