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Chicken Pot Pie

There was one time my mom and I were chatting on the phone about something she was planning to cook. I don’t honestly remember what it was, maybe a marinade, or a dry rub, or a dressing. It could even have been some kind of side dish, really I don’t remember. But that’s not the point. The point is I made some suggestion about how to make it and she asked if I could send her a recipe.

I threw together a list of what I thought it should include and blithely sent off the email to her. Her reply was succinct, painfully obvious in retrospect, and kind of hilarious: “This isn’t a recipe, it’s just a list of ingredients. What do I do with them?”

In all honesty, I tend to cook from a standpoint of lists of ingredients not in terms of quantity or technique. First of all, unless I’m baking and specific quantities are required for their alchemistic properties I tend to think you should use however much of an ingredient you want. You like blueberries more than strawberries? Then use more blueberries than strawberries in the mixed berry pie you’re making. Really like garlic? Then use 3 cloves instead of 1 in the aglio oilo. Simple. Done.

But, more to the point, I tend to take the technique for granted. This isn’t because I’m all fancy and well trained. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. I like to make what is essentially peasant food; dishes that aren’t about beautiful presentation or elaborate technique. All I’m looking for is great taste. But because I’ve made a personal study in learning how to cook I forget sometimes that other cooks don’t always know how to put the ingredient lists together into a recipe.

Of course, that’s exactly what I’m going to do to you now. Sorry. It’s just that there isn’t a way to make this recipe with precise amounts because it’s based entirely on how much in leftovers you wind up with after making and easting a roasted chicken. But, it’s a great way to make one meal into two and a great way to practice using an ingredient list instead of a recipe.

In deference to my mother I’m including a picture of the final product. While she supports the notion of “no more food porn” she expressed that a single photo of the final product might still be nice. She’s probably right. Mom’s almost always are.

Chicken Pot Pie
  • Leftover roasted chicken
  • Leftover roasted chicken pan drippings
  • Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • Baby carrots, chopped
  • Onion, chopped
  • Frozen peas
  • Butter potatoes, chopped
  • Cornstarch
  • Chicken stock
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 rolled pie crust


* Note: You will want to pull off the remaining chicken from the carcass first. You will want to have roughly the same amount of each of the vegetables as you have chicken.
  • In a large skillet heat a small amount of olive oil. Saute the mushrooms and onion seasoned with kosher salt.
  • Once the mushrooms and onion have released their liquid and reduced down turn off the heat.
  • Add the chopped carrots, potato, chicken, and peas to the pan and toss combine.
  • In a large measuring cup take the pan drippings from the roasted chicken and heat it in the microwave until the fat is fully liquified.
  • Mix in approximately 1/4 cup cornstarch for every cup of drippings.
  • Heat again in the microwave for one minute or so.
  • Whisk together to smooth, it should be thick like paste. If it’s not add more cornstarch and heat again.
  • Thin with chicken stock until it is the texture of gravy.
  • Pour gravy over the veggies and chicken and stir to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Transfer the chicken, veggie, gravy mixture into an oven safe dish that is large enough for the mixture to come no more than 3/4 of the way up the dish.
  • Take the rolled pie crust and cover the top of the mixture, leaving some slits or gaps for the steam to escape.
  • Bake for 1 hour.
  • When the time is up turn of the oven and crack the door. Let the pot pie sit in the oven for about 45 minutes. (This allows the gravy to come together and it won’t run when served. Don’t worry, it will stay hot inside.)
  • Serve and enjoy!

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Number of servings: 6