Comfort food at its best. Andy asked for Chicken Pot Pie for his sixteenth birthday dinner. Instead of a cake, we had sixteen biscuits on top. We didn’t get too far with birthday candles on the biscuits, though.
The chicken pot pie recipe became notorious in the first edition of my recipes. Not only did I give wildly inaccurate directions for the amount of gravy to make, I also included a statement, “Yes, you really do need this much!” I am still trying to recover from that cookbook disaster.
The recipe below has been tested by both Mary and me and the amounts are correct.
4 pounds of chicken breasts
4 large baking potatoes
5 ribs of celery
1 ½ sticks of butter
1 1/4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
1 quart of chicken broth
1 quart of skim milk
1/2 pound of frozen peas
1 double recipe of Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
Put the chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. Add a celery top, a carrot, and a quarter of an onion. Toss in a tablespoon of sage and/or a teaspoon of thyme if you have it. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is white, not pink, throughout.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and carrots. Cut potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces and put in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain.
Mince the onions and slice the celery into thin pieces. Saute in a little butter or olive oil until the onion is translucent. Turn off heat and set aside.
Drain the chicken, saving the water—this is the chicken broth you will use to make the gravy. Once the chicken has cooled, cut into bite-size pieces.
Make the gravy. Be sure to use a pot big enough to hold all the pot pie ingredients…the largest one in the kitchen? Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Let it cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly, for a few minutes until it has turned light brown, then gradually add warm chicken broth while you stir vigorously. It will magically thicken. Add milk and heat, again stirring frequently, until steaming but not yet boiling.
Now mix everything together. Add potatoes and carrots, the onion and celery, and the frozen peas. Bring back to a simmer. Now mix in the chicken and continue heating if needed. Put into a large container—I use a very large white ceramic rectangular baking dish.
Heat oven to 425°.
Place cheese biscuit dough on top. I cut it into biscuits but there’s no reason it couldn’t be used as a traditional crust.
Put in oven for 15-20 minutes until biscuit dough is browned.
Makes about 16 servings, enough for 2 middle-aged parents (one of whom is a vegetarian) and 2 teenage boys.