Here’s a thought: Rather than just buy a frozen microwavable pot pie, make your own with ingredients you probably already have lying around the kitchen.
“Oh, but that’s hard!” you say. Well, it does require a bit more effort, but it wasn’t really that hard.
I’ve actually never made one from scratch before, but I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. Basically all it is is meat, peas, carrots, potatoes, gravy, and a piecrust. I decided not to mess with the potatoes because you’d have to precook them, and that was too much work. Also, I suck at piecrusts, so I’m going to use biscuit dough.
The key thing about making a chicken pot pie from scratch is that you have to do some prepwork in advance, like bake chicken at least the night before. You can’t use raw chicken in a pot pie. It would take too long to fully cook it, and the crust would turn into charcoal before it was done. So for safety’s sake, precook the chicken.
Personally, I like to add a couple cups of water to a baking dish and toss in some frozen chicken pieces. Then I cover it with foil and pop it into a 450°F toaster oven for about an hour. The water will turn into a a nice stock, and the meat should be well over the 165°F requirement for chicken.
After you take it out of the oven, wrap the chicken in foil and pour the stock into a container. Put them both in the fridge and allow to fully chill.
Once the chicken is completely cold, take it out and cut it into small cubes. Make sure to remove any bones! It doesn’t really matter if you leave the skin on or go skinless. I left it on and have no regrets.
Typically I’ll go ahead and put the diced chicken in a plastic container with an airtight lid and pop it back in the refrigerator until I’m in the mood for the pot pie.
So here’s the best part: If you got stock, chicken cubes, frozen peas and carrots, flour, butter, sugar, salt, pepper, and baking powder, then you’ve got yourself a chicken pot pie!
Firstly, you’ll want to make the gravy. Use a fork to get any solidified schmaltz (chicken fat) out of the stock and into a pot. Eyeball it. If it’s less than a quarter cup, add butter. Toss in a quarter cup of flour and stir over high heat until it sizzles. Remove from heat and slowly add in the stock little by little while constantly stirring. It thickens as it boils. Remove from heat and season to taste. This is the best chicken gravy.
Next, get out your favorite biscuit dough recipe. Make enough to form a top and bottom crust. It should be half as thick as if you were making biscuits. Line the pie pan with the bottom crust and set the top crust off to the side.
Into your favorite mixing bowl, mix chicken, frozen peas and carrots, and hot gravy. The proportions are up to you. Stir well and dump it into the bottom pie crust, add the top crust, trim, crimp, cut some vents, and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
When finished baking, take it out and let it cool for a little bit. Use this time to take pictures and post to your blog in order to make other people jealous because this smells and tastes amazing!