Chicken pot pie

Frozen Banquet Pies or make at home?

Everyone loves those cheap frozen Banquet chicken pot pies – my mother used to make them for us as treats, and my kids love them too. But they do take a pretty long time to make, if you need five or six of them, even now that you can do them in the microwave (and they don’t taste the same cooked in the microwave as they do if the crust browns in the oven). It doesn’t take much longer to make chicken pot pie from scratch, and I don’t think it’s any more expensive, either. Most recipes I’ve found involve canned cream of chicken soup and canned carrots, but I make chicken pot pie pretty much from scratch. I do start with leftover chicken already cooked, which saves trouble and helps use up leftovers.

How to make chicken pot pie:

Put a medium-size saucepan half full of water on to boil. Grease a casserole or a pie pan with butter. In a mixing bowl, make the biscuit crust. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave, then add three teaspoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, a cup of milk, and two cups of flour. Mix. Take half of the batter and spread it roughly over the bottom of the casserole or pie pan. Preheat the oven to 425.

Now for the filling. Chop five carrots and three sticks of celery into bite-size pieces and add them to the boiling water to cook. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a second saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add 1/2 cup of flour and stir for two minutes. Slowly add one cup of water and 2 cups of chicken broth (or leftover chicken soup). Stir frequently until this gravy boils, then take it off the heat. Stir in some oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Drain the carrots and celery and add them to the gravy. Also add 2/3 cup of frozen peas, and about 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, cut into bite-size chunks. Pour this filling into the casserole over your crust, and then spread the rest of the biscuit crust on top. Bake about half an hour, or until the biscuit crust is browned.

We have raw spinach salad as a side, with vinegar or tahini sauce.

Vegetarian or vegan

Chicken pot pie’s a meat dish, though you could easily leave out the chicken and add seitan or tempeh instead; I don’t recommend leaving out the milk and butter.

Can I keep chicken pot pie for later?

Yes, it’s fine the next day.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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