By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional
Yummmmmm. Meat, potatoes and vegetables in a creamy sauce, that has been wrapped in a flakey crust, is the epitome of comfort foods. That tantalizing aroma that arises when the crust is broken, brings a flood of memories with the rising steam.
Whenever I didn’t feel well as a kid, I would beg my mom to make me a pot pie. It didn’t matter if it was the traditional chicken or beef and vegetable. As long as there was a creamy filling, that surrounded a variety of tid bits and was wrapped in homemade pie crust, I was good to go.
Pot pies originated as a way for the working class to have a full meal in the palm of their hand. Typically wrapped in a grease paper, it would be taken down into the mines or onto the factory floor and provide a hearty meal for the worker. Now, they have gone gourmet and come in such a wide variety of flavors that are both savory and sweet.
- 2 9″ Pie Crusts
- 2 Large Chicken Breasts,
- 1 Ham Steak
- 2 Cups Button Mushrooms, Sliced and Pan Fried in Butter
- 3 Cups Baby Spinach, Roughly Chopped
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped Medium
- 4 Tbs. Butter, Salted
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth, Low Sodium (Reduced Salt)
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Tbs. Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 2 Tbs. Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Swiss Cheese, Shredded
- Olive Oil
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place your chicken breasts into a greased baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Place a sprig of Rosemary underneath and on top of each chicken breast, sprinkle your Beer Can Chicken seasoning over each breast.
- Place your chicken into the oven, on the center rack, and roast for 20-25 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before removing the rosemary and cutting into small / medium size cubes. Set to the side.
- Into a large skillet melt 2 tbs. of butter over medium-high heat. While your butter is melting, cut your ham steak into small / medium size cubes. Once the butter is melted, fry your ham cubes until they start to brown around the edges. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Using the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tbs. of butter and again, melt over medium-high heat. Add your chopped onion, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms. Stirring occasionally, cook until your onions are translucent. Remove your mushrooms and onions and place into a large mixing bowl. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside for a few moments, until needed again.
- To your large mixing bowl, that you have added the mushrooms and onions, add your ham, chicken, chopped spinach and basil. With a large wooden spoon, mix together the base ingredients for your pot pie and then set aside while you prepare the cream sauce.
- Place your skillet back onto the burner and start heating it up over medium-high heat. To a small cup, add 1/2 cup of milk and the 2 tbs. of cornstarch. Mix together well with a spoon, until the starch is completely dissolved. Pour your remaining milk and chicken broth into the skillet and with a large wire whisk, mix in your cornstarch mixture, whisking vigorously. Add a pinch of cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until it just starts to thicken.
- Add your Swiss cheese and stir until the cheese is completely melted. Immediately remove from the heat and add to your bowl of pot pie ingredients. Mix together until your ingredients are well combined.
- Take a 9″ pie pan / plate and place one of your pie crusts into the pan. Make sure that you lightly press the pie dough into the pan so that there are no air pockets. Pour your pie filling into your pie crust and spread out evenly. Then take your other pie crust and place on top of your filled pie. With a fork, go around the edges and press down to seal the two crusts together. Then with a small knife, cut three small slits into the top of your pot pie.
- Finally, bake on the center rack of your oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until your crust is a golden brown.
- Enjoy, this updated version of the classic chicken pot pie, with your friends and family.