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Did you grow up on those little, frozen, pucks of pot pie like I did? In college they were a staple, and when Greg and I first got married, they made quick weekend lunches.
Then I learned how to make it myself, and I haven’t bought one since.
Not only is this probably my favorite use of Thanksgiving leftovers (beside sandwiches…there’s just something special about a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, isn’t there?) but one of my top comfort foods in general. It’s on my list of meals to take to friends in need, too.
Homemade Pot Pie
I’m a firm believer that a pot pie must be made with pie crust. Not puff pastry. Not biscuits. Trader Joe’s ready to use pie crusts are my favorite.
The vessel that you make it in can be just about anything, though. It is just as tasty in a pie plate, cast iron skillet, or disposable aluminum pan.
It’s a little more effort than my chicken and dumpling casserole, but it’s not difficult. You start by sauteeing your vegetables in a skillet until tender. I use onion, carrots and potatoes. (A lot of recipes don’t use potatoes…feel free to use what you like and have on hand).
Next you’re going to add flour to your veg and cook for a minute or so. Then add chicken stock and seasonings to make a rich gravy. Speaking of gravy, if you have leftovers from Thanksgiving, it makes a tasty addition to your sauce. In fact, the iron skillet version featured here was made with leftover gravy.
Stir in your cooked, shredded chicken or turkey and if you are using peas, you will add them, frozen, to your mixture. My husband prefers no peas, so I sometimes make them on the side on pot pie night so I can add them to mine.
You also have the option at this point to make a single or double crust pot pie. When I make this in my cast iron skillet, I just lay a crust over the top and pop it in the oven. If I’m making it in a pie plate or aluminum pan, I like a double crust.
Note about baking in a disposable aluminum pan: I use a square pan. The crust doesn’t fit perfectly, but I promise it still tastes perfect.
You can brush the top crust with a simple egg wash if you want it to look shiny. I did that on the one in the pie plate. And you know what I think? Meh. I think I actually prefer the one without the wash better. That’s a total preference thing, though. My tendency usually leans towards the less steps the better mentality.
Bake it up til the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Be sure to let it sit a few minutes before serving, it allows the filling to set a bit. But, if you’re like me, it’s going to run all over anyway.
Are you a pot pie lover too?
Here’s the recipe: