Nothing really says comfort food to me like stew and pie. And while I really prefer beef stew, I make chicken pot pie a lot more. Usually I like to go for quicker, easier, lower maintenance recipes. Really, who has time to do things like this on an every day? Nobody. Not that I know of at least. So just keep in mind that this is also a good freezer dish. Spend a day, make 4 of them, freeze them, and then on the “every day” part you just pop one in the oven and TADA, dinner.
Now you start with a lard crust. It has to be lard. Butter and vegetable shortenings…they are just sad. Which is funny, because my tried and true lard crust, I had my friend Josh try some. Josh has never had anything I’ve seriously made before this, so I was really excited to get his reaction. So he tries it, smiles, makes “yummy” sounding noises. Then I tell him how I made it.
2.5 cups of flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup lard
10 tablespoons ice water
Cut the lard into the flour with knives and forks or a pastry cutter. Whatever it takes until it looks like “dirty snow” or little pebbles. But don’t (and this is super important guys) overwork it. At all. After it’s all pebbley add the water little bits at a time until you can work it together into a ball. Divide in half and chill/let rest for 30 minutes.
So I tell him that, and his reaction is:
“But…but it’s so buttery!”
That’s because I, and this recipe, are magic. Maaagggicc.
While the crust is resting, do the following:
cut up half an onion into little tiny onion bits
dice a carrot, some celery, and whatever other vegetables you would like to put in. I like potatoes(…duh).
Put a stick of butter in a soup pot with the onion, some minced garlic, and the veggies, and start to sautee them.
Simultaneously, or immediately after you put the veggies in the pan and you’re letting the butter melt and the veggies start to cook. Dice up 3 or 4 medium chicken breasts. Salt and pepper them, and then brown them in a large fry pan over medium high heat in some oil or butter (or bacon grease, why not. Life is short and bacon is delicious).
Then, add about 1/5th a cup of flour to the vegetables, and cook that until you’ve made a successful roux. Or, you can be really fancy and skip this step. Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth, or 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of chicken base. Then add the chicken.
Now, if you want to be really fancy, as previously mentioned. Get some instant mashed potato flakes and add that to the soup/stew mixture as a thickener. This. works. out. awesome. As long as you don’t reduce it to the consistency of real mashed potatoes, it’s just the same only with a new interesting flavor depth.
Let all of that simmer for a while, while you roll out the pie crust and assemble the pie. Make sure you poke holes in the top for vents, and crimp the edges together. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 F, until the crust is golden brown.