Weeknight Dinner: Homemade Chicken Pot Pies

So, many of you know how sick I've been this year. I literally have caught every single bug that has gone around, taking a whopping SIX days of sick days. The minute my throat starting hurting last week I thought, "Dear God. I can't have strep again!"

I immediately went to the doctor, and (thank god) the strep test came back negative. I did have a pretty nasty virus that led to some seriously large white spots on my throat (awesome). I literally had had enough. I didn't think it was completely unreasonable to request that my doctor remove my tonsils and any other organs I would not really be needing. Like, do I really need my tonsils? No. Do I absolutely need my appendix? No. I am pretty sure I also don't need my spleen as well. Yes, he laughed at me, and then proceeded to tell me I had the smallest tonsils of anyone he'd ever seen (uh, thanks? I think?). Then, he began asking me the following questions: 

Dr B to Cari: Have you always lived in Ohio
Cari to Dr. B: No, there was a magical time when I lived in Denver.
Dr B: Were you born in Colorado?
Cari: Uh, yeah. And then I moved to Ohio when I was 8.
Dr B: Oh man, I love to ski.
Cari: Uh, that's great, Dr. B.
Dr B: Sorry, you don't need to know that. When did you move to Cleveland?
Cari: Four years ago.
Dr B: When did you start getting sick all the time?
Cari: Four years ago.
Dr. B: You're going to laugh, but I think you may be allergic to Cleveland.

That's right, people. Allergic to Cleveland. This could only happen to me. So, I requested a doctor's note that would give me permission me to move back to Colorado (apparently doctor's notes don't have that power). Since that didn't work… I'll be staying here for the time being and suffering my way through life.

Since my throat hurt so much, the only thing I wanted to eat was soup and ice cream. Naturally, Mr. Grumpy called on his way home late from work and requested we order pizza. I thought, how bad could it be? Bad, people. I promise you, my throat has never hurt so much. So, the next night for dinner, I took things into my own hands.

Many years ago, Ina Garten made homemade chicken pot pies on her show, Barefoot Contessa. I thought to myself, "Cari, you will never be this put together." And while I was extremely right, I decided it was time to tackle the pot pie. Don't get me wrong – Marie Calendar pot pies are super delicious. But, I wanted to make one by myself to show the world that if Ina can do it… so can I. Well, sorta.

Oh. Hell. Yeah. You bet I did this.

So, I adapted her recipe because frankly I found it ridiculous that I would have to make my own puff pastry. Let's be honest, that was not happening. I was also not feeling like 80 cups of heavy cream and pound of butter (yes, I'm exaggerating) that she wanted me to use was a good life choice. So, I substituted the cream for greek yogurt and used a spreadable butter substitute that is much better for you.

Oh, and she wanted me to cook chicken with bones in it, and we all remember how well that went for me last time. So, I forfeited that option as well.

Let's get cooking – here's what you'll need:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus 1 tsp
  • 1/8 tsp pepper, plus 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2.5 cups organic, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 6 tablespoons butter substitute spread (We use Earth Balance made from canola and olive oil) 
  • 1 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp greek yogurt  
  • 1 cups carrots, cut long ways
  • 1/2 bag of frozen small whole onions
  • 1 can of diced potatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry (thaw on the counter)
  • 1 egg
  • Cracked pepper and sea salt

First, cook your chicken. So, preheat your oven to 350. Rub your chicken with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and then sprinkle the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning on each side. Cook your chicken in the oven, about 30 minutes until it's cooked all the way through. Remember, it's going to cook again at the end when you bake your pot pie, so it'll be ok just having 30 minutes in the oven. Take your frozen puff pastry sheets out of the freezer, and let them thaw as the package directs. 

While your chickies are cooking, make the soup mixture for the pot pie. First, in a small saucepan, simmer your chicken stock and bouillon cube until the cube is all melted. Let that sit on the stove top on low heat until you're ready for it. Now, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the yellow onion. Let that cook until the onion is translucent. That will probably take about six minutes. Next, add the flour, and turn your heat to low. Stir constantly for about one minute. Turn your heat back up to medium, and add the chicken stock. Stir about 5 more minutes until the sauce gets thick. It will help if you let it get to a simmer, and then stir slowly during this time. Then, turn your heat back to a medium-low, and add remaining salt and pepper. Add the greek yogurt and stir until thick and creamy (about 3 more minutes). 

By now, your chicken should be cooked. Take it out of the oven and dice it (careful not to burn yourself like I did. Ina was smart enough to let hers cool, I assume.). Add that into your saucepan, along with the whole onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and chopped parsley. Cover, and let that simmer for about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up on your oven to 375 degrees. Take out two small baking dishes, and spray them with non-stick cooking spray. Ladle in your chicken mixture into the dishes. Whisk an egg in a small bowl, and brush the egg wash over the sides of your baking dish. Gently take your puff pastry and set it on top of each baking dish. Roll up the edges so they stick to the sides. Brush the remaining egg mixture over both pastry sheets, and sprinkle with cracked pepper and sea salt to taste. Cut little slits in the top of each of your pot pies (I cut little hearts out on mine, but we struggled a bit with the puff pastry, so they ended up looking like the green blob from Ghostbusters. Sorry, Ina. We can't all be as talented as you. Or have a husband who likes to make flower arrangements and drink wine…. ??) 

Cook your pot pies in the oven, about 30-35 minutes, until the puff pastry turns a golden yellow/brown and the mixture starts bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let it sit for a few minutes. Mr Grumpy and I skipped this step because we were super excited to eat pot pies (apparently Mr. G loves him some pot pies… who knew??), and we ended up burning our tongues. And our dignity. 


See what I mean about looking like the green blob? Yes, just when you think you can't cook like a Food Network star, we figure out a way to fake our way through. No matter what it looks like coming out of the oven, you better bet it tasted deeeee-lish! Enjoy!

(And if anyone has any allergy remedies for me, let me know. How one can be allergic to an entire city just boggles my mind).   


5 thoughts on “Weeknight Dinner: Homemade Chicken Pot Pies

  1. Heather Thomas says:

    Moving to Los Angeles was the perfect remedy for my allergy to Cleveland! 🙂 Hope all is well Cari and you’re feeling better!


  2. Katie @ Produce on Parade says:

    Cari, you should just move up here to Alaska. I too, am allergic to Ohio. My allergies are seriously the WORST there! Also, I was tested for strep once and it came back negative. Well, turns out after blood work that I had strep C, which is equestrian strep…and it’s not tested with the throat swab. EQUESTRIAN strep, Cari!!! OMG. I don’t even like horses and as a general rule I stay far away from them. Anyways, I hope you feel better soon! Maybe you need a vacay up to Alaska! 🙂


  3. Cari Jeanne says:

    OMG seriously – you and me are the only people on the planet who could catch Horse Strep, I swear! We definitely need to vacay to Alaska so I can get this under control. And that is so shocking about the plant-based diets – I would have never connected the two! I don’t know if I could live without cheeseburgers and chicken tenders, though. Maybe I’ll just cut back for now (or move to AK)!!!


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