Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Updating the Classic Chicken Pot Pie


The chill is settling in, and with the bitter cold comes a need to keep the comfort food coming. But comfort food need not be the same old, same old. In fact, you can liven things up with a classic Chicken Pot Pie and really make it sing! Lee Clayton Roper, who wrote the cookbook Fresh Tastes, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her modern spin on the Chicken Pot Pie.  She says there's a few key differences, including a cream sauce based on Coconut Milk and Curry Powder. Funny story, Lee told Tonia she was actually reaching for Evaporated Milk in her cabinet, and grabbed the Coconut Milk instead.  So this inspiration almost came by accident! She also says she uses frozen edamame instead of frozen peas. It's a really unique spin on a classic, and the best part, it still keeps you warm on a cold day!


SERVES: 6 to 7 

1 tablespoon butter

6 to 8 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms (any kind)

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 large celery ribs, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

3/4 to 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons curry powder, divided

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup light coconut milk, evaporated milk or half and half

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame or frozen green peas 

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch or 2 of sugar (optional)

4 to 5 large, unbaked Nama’s Buttermilk Biscuits (page 223), or prepared biscuits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-9 inch baking dish or 2-quart oval baking dish.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped chicken and 1 teaspoon curry powder; Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is no longer pink.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth, milk and wine. Sift the flourover the top and whisk to blend. Add remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder, edamame and rosemary, whisking until well blended. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in thyme and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. If using evaporated milk, you may need to add a pinch or two of sugar. Spoon into prepared baking dish.

Roll each biscuit flat to make larger. Place over chicken mixture in one layer (biscuits don’t have to cover mixture completely). Bake about 15 minutes or until biscuits are browned and chicken mixture is bubbling hot.

ALTERNATIVE PRESENTATION Divide filling between 6 large ramekins, increase number of biscuits to 6 and place 1 biscuit on top of each.

MAKE AHEAD Pot pie filling can be prepared, cooled, covered and refrigerated earlier in the day. Bring to room temperature before covering with biscuits and baking.

VEGETARIAN VARIATION In place of the chicken, use 1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces. Follow same directions as above.