THE BLOG
12/10/2012 09:59 am ET Updated Feb 09, 2013

Chicken Potpie from Scratch

Chicken potpie was one of the very few things I ate growing up that came from a box in the freezer. That and a Mexican food TV dinner were the tastes of my parents going out and leaving us with a babysitter. I have some fond memories of those tastes.

These days you can even buy really decent yummy organic chicken potpies from a box in the freezer, but they are single-serving size and just don't feel substantial enough to make a real meal. And of course, chicken potpie is all about the crust. The Pennsylvania Dutch call a soup with square homemade noodles chicken potpie, but try serving that to friends and family and getting away with it. (Trust me, I tried it once.) It's good, mind you. But it's not the same as a good crust. Real crust. It's all about the crust.

Savory Pie Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • 12 Tablespoons cold lard
  • 12 tablespoons cold water
  • Olive oil
Directions:
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter and lard. I use my fingers to pinch everything to tiny bits (gently and patiently; takes about 4 minutes). Add the cold water and mix everything together. If it still feels too dry and floury, add a dash of olive oil to make everything stay in a ball shape.
  2. Put in the fridge while you make the rest of the stuff.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Chicken Potpie Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup white flour
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup raw or leftover cooked chicken
  • 2 carrots, cut up
  • 2 potatoes, cut up into tiny squares
  • 2 handfuls green beans, cut up
  • 2 handfuls frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, and stir until the mixture bubbles. Add the broth and cut-up chicken and stir until it's all boiling (the flour-butter mixture should make the broth thicken).
  2. Add all the vegetables.
  3. No need to overcook this part, since it will all cook together in the oven!
The Compilation:
  1. Divide the dough into two balls and roll out the dough on a clean, floured surface. Put the bottom layer of dough in the pie pan then add the hot potpie filling mixture. Roll the top out and carefully place it over the filling, crimping the edges together.
  2. I used a fork to poke a star shape in the top. Nothing fancy--it's just going to get eaten!
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust looks...crusty!
You will probably have extra dough. This is the fun part! You can just salt it a bit and cook it to make a yum little snack, or make a tiny little pie just for fun. Add sugar to make it sweet or jam to make it jammy. The options are endless. That dough will not go to waste!

 

 

 

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com