Not My Aunt’s Chicken Pot Pie

Serving of chicken pot pie

I’ve been tied up for a couple of weeks, so my wonderful sister Nadalyn, has graciously stepped in and made us a chicken pot pie.  Before I turn this over to her, I have to say that this recipe is SO Nadalyn.  I cook meals with a lot of leftovers because I learned not to waste anything from my mother, but Nadalyn – she has taken it to a whole new level.  She is the frugalista of leftovers and this chicken pot pie is a great example.  It’s all yours Babe…

My husband’s aunt and uncle made a living running a diner in a small rural town. They were the sweetest, kindest, most generous couple you ever met. Honestly, I think that was the main reason people ate at their diner, and also the fact that their diner was one of only two sit-down eateries in town. His aunt’s chicken pot pie was her staple. It was the diner’s special every day and the dish she brought to all family gatherings. Unfortunately, we use to say that the closest a chicken got to her pot pie was if one ran past on the road. The dish consisted primarily of a small bag of frozen mixed vegetables in thickened chicken stock covered with a pie crust in a restaurant size baking pan. It was a game among us seeing if anyone would actually find a piece of chicken in their serving of pie. That’s where I got the tongue-in-cheek name for my dish.

My version of classic chicken pot pie is a hearty dish with lots of chicken and a mix of non-standard veggies. It is also the lazy girl’s pot pie because I don’t make a pie crust. I use biscuits instead. Plus, I really don’t like to bake that much, despite my Cushaw cake recipe MJ posted several weeks ago. I am very much about repurposing and using what you have on hand, so the point of this dish is to use whatever is leftover in the fridge, including the biscuits. Some of the local fried chicken takeout places around here provide biscuits along with the chicken. We never eat all the biscuits so I freeze them for another time. This is a good way to use them up. I hope you like it.

A southern chicken pot pie

 

 

Kitchen Notes

The chicken or turkey – Roast chicken from the deli works great for this, particularly if you are in a hurry. Also, when we have leftover chicken I usually freeze it and continue to add to it until there is enough for another meal. There is usually a container of some amount of shredded chicken on hand. This pot pie is also a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey bits and pieces.

The beer – I have tried a regular lager but it doesn’t impart the right flavor. A dark beer is definitely better. Here in Texas we have a great local beer named Shiner Bock that is terrific. I have also used Bass Ale and that works well too. No need to measure the beer, just pour in half of a normal 12 oz. bottle and drink the rest.

The veggies – First of all, the measurements for the vegetables are not exact. Use what you have on hand and add more or less of what you like. You can use many different veggies in this – peas, pieces of potato, lima beans, whole kernel corn, and artichoke hearts (I used steamed fresh, not canned hearts). All of the vegetables should be pre-cooked.

There are a few veggies that don’t work too well. Green snap beans get too mushy. You could use broccoli but if it cooks too long it gets mushy and dominates the flavor of the dish. Broccoli rabe works o.k. if you don’t use too much.I suggest that you don’t use more than 2 green vegetables at a time, such as peas and greens, or asparagus and peas, or greens and artichoke hearts. I like lots of veggies but don’t get carried away. There should be no more than a 50/50 ratio of vegetables to meat.

Greens other than those listed also get mushy and can be bitter. The greens should be sautéed and seasoned before adding. MJ teases me about being one of the only people in the world that would have beet greens on hand. Beets are my husband’s favorite vegetable so I cook them frequently. If you haven’t tried the tops of fresh beets you are missing a treat. The greens are the best part and are more versatile than a lot of other greens. Sometimes I throw the greens in with the beet roots when I’m cooking them, but I mostly use them in other dishes – omelets, quiche, soups, stews – to name a few. John and Laurie at RV Cajun Cooking have a great shrimp and beet greens wrap recipe. I’ve tried it (decrease the amount of mayo) and it was delish.

If you use a regular onion instead of scallion, blanch it with the celery and carrots, to keep it from being too overpowering.

The reason I said to reserve the broth the vegetables were cooked in is because this is excellent broth for use as a base for a soup or stew later. So, as soon as the vegetable water cools, pour it into a freezer container and freeze.

The biscuit layer(s) – I have made this with a layer of biscuits on the bottom and the top. My son likes lots of biscuits. If you are like him, use twice as many biscuits, one layer on the bottom and one on the top with the filling in between. The rest of us don’t need the extra calories and prefer just the top layer.

Dig in!

 

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60 Responses to “Not My Aunt’s Chicken Pot Pie”

  1. Amber @ The Cook's Sister April 14, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Yum!!!! I love chicken pot pie as a comfort food! I don’t make this often enough. I’d love to give your recipe a try!

  2. Reese@SeasonwithSpice March 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I felt like I just had the most delicious, comforting meal with two warmest hostesses in the family on a lazy weekend. I know dishes would be taken care off as well, so I would excuse myself and take a looong nice nap…Thanks Nad & MJ!:)

    • Nads March 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Long nap guaranteed,Reese. We are a couple of lucky cooks whose husbands do a lot of the clean-up so we would probably excuse ourselves too. The more the merrier!

  3. Food Jaunts March 29, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Oh loving that use of asparagus and beer! Plus it’s genius to use the leftover biscuits you get from places.

  4. wok with ray March 28, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    I am like you, I use what I have left in the fridge and then cook a dish around it. I am also not in to baking, so your take on pot pie is something I can definitely do. Thank you Nadalyn and MJ for this wonderful recipe. :)

  5. Rita Bose March 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Mj, this is one of the best chicken pot pies I’ve ever seen! Look so yummy!! http://www.rita-bose-cooking.com/

    • Nads March 28, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      Wow! What a great complement! Thank you Rita.

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    WOW!!! This is my first time seeing chicken pot pie not in a bowl. I love this! I’d love to try this comfort food, especially on gloomy day like today… this would be a nice treat!

  7. mj March 27, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Thanks you Nadalyn for such a wonderful dish to warm us up and make us smile! Who doesn’t like good ole southern comfort food!?!?

  8. Terra March 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    I have been craving homemade pot pie, something homey, and delicious about the dish! I totally understand being busy, I hope you are able to relax now:-) Your chicken pot pie looks fabulous, I wish I could steal some right now:-) Hugs, Terra

  9. Vicki Bensinger March 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    I love chicken pot pie and although i haven’t had it in years I’d love to make this. What a comforting meal. Who wouldn’t love this!

  10. Carole March 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    MJ thanks for the birthday wishes – you are the first, and only of my blog friends to make the connection! Cheers

    • mj March 27, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      You are most welcome Carole! You were sly about it, but I did catch the connection. :) Hope you had a good one!

  11. I like that you call it “the lazy girl’s pot pie”, it means it’s perfect for me as well :)

  12. Dara March 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Wow. This looks so comforting and amazing. Perfect cold weather food.

  13. Katerina March 26, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    This looks so indulging! How much I would love a dish full of it!

  14. Allen @ Cook! Bake! Share! March 26, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    The epitome of “comfort food”! Thank you for sharing this tempting version of a classic!
    I am anxious to make this soon. Allen.

  15. Kate@Diethood March 26, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    This delicious cooking thing is a family affair, huh? NICE!! :-D

    I am staring at a backyard covered with snow… that bowl would soooo hit the spot! :)

    • mj March 27, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Thanks Kate! Yes, growing up – the girls were always in the kitchen with mama! :)

  16. Donalyn March 26, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    This looks really good – my meals like this are never the same two times in a row, because I also use whatever veggies are in the fridge. In fact a meal like this every week or so is a must, to make sure I get everything used up!

    • mj March 27, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      I definitely agree with you there Donalyn! Mine leftover meals are usually “make them eat it soup”. Never something as exotic of Chicken Pot pie. :)

      • Nads March 28, 2013 at 8:00 am #

        My kids grew up on make-um-eat-it soups, jambalaya style rice dishes, pastas and more. This is just another in a long line of “waste not want not” concoctions.

  17. Tessa March 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I love chicken pot pie! Looks delicious!

  18. Liz March 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    I’m so glad your pot pie actually contains chicken, Nadalyn! Cute story…and yummy dish!

  19. Treat and Trick March 25, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Beautiful dish loaded with healthy ingredients, I’m sure it tastes fabulous. Thanks for the recipe….

  20. Soni March 25, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Oh this looks perect for today’s weather!Wish I had some here right now :)

  21. Sissi March 25, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    I loved this hilarious story and I love this chicken pie. The way the biscuits are used here is for me one of the biggest creative touches I have seen in recent years. Nadalyn, I am in awe of your ingenuity!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you soo much Sissi! It’s like MJ said – we were taught not to waste ANYTHING! We’ve tried to teach our children that being frugal is not doing without. It’s laying a foundation for always having what you need and later what you want.

  22. Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 25, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    This is definitely a new one for me! This recipe is so interesting, and must be delicious!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Thank you John and Giulietta! Glad you like and found something a little new for an old standby.

  23. ChgoJohn March 25, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    Now this is a chicken pot pie! It sounds delicious and using biscuits makes a family-style preparation so much easier. A great idea and recipe!

  24. Raymund March 25, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    Thats a nice complete meal, looks very hearty delicious. I should have a sister like you :)

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      Hi Raymund! Sister-for-hire here! And I work cheap. lol

    • mj April 1, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Not everyone can be as lucky as me! :)

  25. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food March 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Yummy, chicken pot pie has been on my “must make” list for ages! I’m going to make it one day, but my mental block is how to make it flavorful…I can’t imagine that just chicken and veg will give it the flavor I want. I like the idea of tarragon, and the beer in this recipe sounds fascinating, but maybe a little adventurous for me to begin with :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Debbie, it’s actually super simple, especially since most of it is leftover and you just throw it in together. The tarragon and beer give it the unique and refined, but not over the top flavor. Hope you give it a shot.

  26. Gomo March 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Love this chicken pot pie. And the lazy baker in me really, really loves the biscuits used in this dish. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  27. Roz March 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    My husband and I are left-over loving freaks too and like you and your mother, we just hate to waste a morsel of precious food! And this post about one of our absolute favorite entrees (chicken pot pie) is one of the best that I’ve ever read. It’s a keeper and I’m pinning and bookmarking it! My husband thanks you! So glad to have found and now following your blog!

    Have a great week,
    Roz

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Wow Roz, thank you so much. I’m glad you and the hubby like the recipe. I know you will enjoy following MJ’s blog. She’s a super special person. She puts her all into everthing she does, and then some. He recipes are “de bomb.”

  28. Carolyn Jung March 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    I love how you topped this with biscuits leftover from fried chicken meals. That is so clever. It makes whipping up a pot pie so much easier, too. ;)

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      Thanks Carolyn. I came up with this recipe when I was working two jobs and cooking for the family everyday too. I had to have a way to do it that was easy and economical. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

  29. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Nadalyn, you’re hilarious: “we use to say that the closest a chicken got to her pot pie was if one ran past on the road” – too funny! And it actually reminds me of the time my older brother tried to split a chicken leg 10 ways for our school lunches (I come from a family of 10 kids) – can you imagine? anyhow the darn chicken sandwich consisted mostly of mayo and bread with a hair of chicken in the middle but the story remains legendary in our family ;-).

    Kindness and generosity go a long way and I’d probably be hanging out at your aunt’s diner for those reasons too. Admittedly though, I like your fully loaded version with the unique mix of veggies.

    Thanks for the smile Nadalyn, I loved reading this post!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      Thank you Kelly. I loved your story too! We had a good size family too, but now as big as yours, so we totally understand strecting things to go around. You gave me a smile also.

  30. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I smiled at the mention of Shiner beer (I’m from Texas originally). Your chicken pot pie sounds delicious and I like the idea of a biscuit top.

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks Karen. We are originally from Louisiana but this is our second go-round in Texas (with a stint in CA in the middle). Glad to be back. We’re starting to think of ourselves as Texans. It kinda gets in the blood.

  31. CCU March 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Chicken pot pie looks too good my friend :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  32. john@kitchenriffs March 24, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I used to live in Texas and always loved Shiner Bock. Fortunately I’m sometimes seeing it in stores here, too. Anyway, really like the idea of biscuits for the dough – chicken pot pie really only needs a top crust, IMO, so this is perfect. Never thought to put asparagus or beet greens in my chicken pot pie, either – really wonderful idea! Good stuff and great guest post – thanks.

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      Thanks John! Have a Shiner for me.

  33. Debra March 24, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    When I first started dating The Hubs, he was buying chicken pot pie in bulk from Sam’s and loving them. I have stopped that practice! :) But, he does love a good chicken pot pie and I have not made him any in a long time.

    Loved the story and loved all the tips in this recipe.

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Deja vu!! I can still see the freezer stuffed with Banquet potpie boxes. Jim loved them, too!! I guess it’s a guy thing. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  34. Judy @Savoring Today March 24, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    I like to switch it up with biscuits rather than a crust sometimes, it is comfort food either way — lots of chicken and lots of veggies — what a wonderful recipe!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Thank you Judy.

  35. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 24, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Oh wow! This looks amazing, totally love this chicken pot pie

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks Kayle. My kids were in the business for many years and I know how stressful trying to get that next acting gig can be. I’m glad you found cooking for an outlet. Good luck with your blog.

  36. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 24, 2013 at 5:16 am #

    no biscuits in a can around here. I’m getting pretty good at homemade biscuits and I think this chicken pot pie is a winner!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      You can’t beat homemade biscuits. Good for you and MJ for keeping up that art.

  37. Ramona March 24, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    Glad to see you sister is getting in on the act. :) Love the idea of using leftover biscuits. It’s still cold here so a hearty dinner like this would be a treat. :)

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      Thanks Ramona, it’s always fun when MJ asks me to get in on the act. It’s a lot of work too. To you gals and guys that do it all the time, – more power.

  38. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 24, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    I come over for the lunch! It looks super duper delicious!

    • Nads March 25, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Come on over Angie, there’s always plenty for company with this recipe.

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