I’m all for quick and easy when it’s time to make dinner. But once in a while it’s worth the time it takes to prepare an old-fashioned casserole. Not one that uses canned soup and boxes of stuffing mix–but one that uses lots of fresh ingredients. This chicken pot pie recipe definitely takes a little while to prepare, but according to more than one guest it was worth every messy minute. I typically replace the frozen mixed vegetables with fresh peas, corn, beans, and carrots when they’re available, but the veggies I have harvested from my garden and frozen for later use are just as good to me.
I made this for a church dinner recently, and had several requests for the recipe. Since there are a fair number of vegetarians at my church, I also made a meatless version that replaced the chicken with hard-cooked eggs and diced potatoes. Mmmm!
Sunday Dinner Chicken Pot Pie
Want a meatless version? See the note below. This makes 6 generous servings
3 ribs celery
2-3 lb chicken, cut up
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. chopped parsley
S & P
14 or 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots, corn, peas)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp., plus 1/3 c. butter
1/3 c., plus 1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cream
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 c. milk
Prepare chicken and broth:
Cut 1 rib of celery into 2″ pieces. Peel 1 onion and cut it into quarters. Combine 6 cups of water, celery, onion, chicken, bay leaf, 2 tbsp. of the parsley, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a soup pot. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is nearly falling off the bone, about 45-60 minutes.
Remove chicken and cool on a platter. Leave the pot uncovered and continue to simmer the broth to reduce it to about 3 cups. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and chop meat into bite-sized pieces. Heat oven to 450.
Cook vegetables in boiling salted water per package directions. Drain and set aside, but reserve cooking water and add it to chicken broth.
Dice the remaining onion. Melt the 2 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and continue to cook, uncovered, until juices are evaporated. Stir in 1/3 cup flour and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Measure out 2 1/2 cups of warm broth, and whisk half of it into the onion-flour mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. Add remaining broth, cooked mixed vegetables, and cooked chicken meat to pan, blending well. Stir in cream and remove from heat. Pour into a greased 9×13″ casserole.
Top with biscuits:
Stir 1 1/2 c. flour, poultry seasoning, baking powder, and a pinch of salt together in a bowl. Cut remaining 1/3 c. butter into flour mixture. Stir in milk just until dry ingredients are completely moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot chicken mixture, distributing evenly. You won’t cover the sauce completely, but that’s all right. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, until filling is bubbling and biscuits are browned. Serve immediately.
For a hearty meatless version:
Make a vegetable broth with 3 cups of water, the celery, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper as above. Add a vegetable bullion cube to the both. Cook 2 medium red potatoes in the broth until just tender. Cool the potatoes, and dice them. Add the mixed-vegetables cooking liquid to the broth, as above. Quarter 6 peeled, hard-cooked eggs, and add them and the diced, cooked potatoes to the sauce and vegetables before topping with the biscuits.