Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Favorite chicken pie

Comfort food. We all need it from time to time, and I have a list of favorites from baked macaroni and cheese to chicken pastry.

Another favorite is a chicken pie that’s really not a pie. It’s made in a casserole dish and has a delicious, buttery topping that puffs up and browns as it bakes, making a delicious crust. Yum. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

The recipe is one that I’ve been making since 1992, when it ran in this newspaper. If I’ve shared it before, forgive me for repeating, but it’s worth repeating.

To start this recipe, cook a whole but cut-up chicken, making plenty of seasoned broth however you make your broth. I usually simmer the chicken in salted water that covers the chicken for maybe 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. I throw in a few pieces of celery and some onion if I have them. After the broth has cooked and cooled some, I remove the chicken and strain the broth. Then I skim the fat from the top after the broth has cooled.

I have made the recipe before with chicken breasts and canned broth, but I think it’s better with both white and dark meat and homemade broth.

The chicken I cooked this weekend was perfect for 3 cups of chicken called for in this recipe. I was also able to use my own broth for this recipe and freeze a nice amount for a later meal.

This chicken casserole calls for peas and carrots. You could certainly use another mix of veggies if you’d prefer, but we like the peas and carrots.

The topping is simply Bisquick, butter and milk.

Often, I have made this casserole the day before I’m going to eat it and left it in the refrigerator overnight to cook the next day. The results are very good.

I always make rice to go with this dish and sometimes a Jello salad as well. Some in my family mix the rice with the casserole.

This recipe makes a lot. I fed five adults Sunday and had plenty of leftovers for lunch on Monday. We put the leftover casserole and rice in the same container, then microwaved individual servings in a bowl. I told my husband the leftovers were almost better than what we had the day before!

Chicken Pie
  • 1 3-lb. chicken, cooked in salted water and deboned (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken broth from cooked chicken (can use canned)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use Healthy Request, low-sodium, low-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick (I use the Heart Smart version)
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Frozen peas and carrots (optional; I use about 1 cup)
Place cut-up chicken in 9X13-inch casserole dish.

Mix soup and broth with a whisk to combine. Add in about 1 cup cooked and drained peas and carrots. Spoon mixture over chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over mixture.

Beat Bisquick, butter and milk thoroughly. Spoon over chicken mixture to make a crust. Don’t worry about completely spreading it. It should spread as it bakes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until casserole is bubbly and crust is brown.

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