Last week, after posting my gift bread recipe, a few asked for my Chicken Pie Recipe…so here it is.  It has been a family favorite at our house for over 30 years…in fact, years ago I had a friend who would pay me to make them for her to use for special occasions.  So let’s begin…..

I was taught by my mother that a great soup, sauce, or chicken pie begins with superior stock.  It takes a little more effort than throwing the chicken in a pot of water.  I think cooking the stock overnight in the slow cooker adds so much flavor and tenderness to the meat.  So, I begin with a cup of chopped celery, chopped onion, and two minced garlic cloves in the pot.  I season the veggies with a teaspoon of salt, and about a tablespoon of MRS. DASH GARLIC AND HERB SEASONING (love this…use it a lot!).  If I have some fresh herbs growing in my window, I might also toss in a sprig of rosemary or three basil leaves for additional flavor.

Then I put the chicken (3-4 lb. fryer) in the pot upside down, cover with water, put the pot on low and say Nighty Night! The stock will be a rich golden brown in the morning.  I take out the chicken…which may fall to pieces, so a serrated spoon is good to have on hand…and I set it aside to cool for a little while.

I use the spoon to scoop out the cooked veggies and place them in a saucepan as you see below.

Now, one whole chicken will shred up to enough meat for either two pies…or one pie and one chicken salad for another meal…or one pie and a little homemade chicken soup…or take a pie to a friend in need or just to put a smile on their face.  It is easy to make two pies either for your whole family or to bless another!

You may do any combination of veggies your family will like.  Here I stirred the celery mixture with mushrooms, carrots, Le Sueur Peas  (I always thought they were the best), and chopped red pepper.  I cover these in chicken stock and cook until they are soft.

Here is where I cheat!  I do not often make a homemade pie crust.  In high humidity, pie crusts are difficult and time consuming.  So, I buy the ready-made dough.  It must be taken out of the refrigerator to soften while you are making the filling.

For the sauce, you will need a good whisk to keep it smooth.  Melt six tablespoons of butter in a pot.  When thoroughly melted, add one-half cup of all- purpose flour and whisk until thick (into a ball), and then slowly add three cups of the chicken broth.  Whisk until smooth and thick.  Taste and season as you go along.  You might want to add more pepper or even cayenne if your family is guy-heavy,  like mine.

Then stir in the chicken and veggies as thick as you want it.

Place the bottom layer of dough into a pie dish and press it to fit.  Then load up the filling!  Now, I collected many cookie cutters when my children were young and here is one of the places I still use them.  My Texas Aggie son was the benefactor of this pie so I decorated with a cowboy boot.  But, my chicken pies have had flowers, hearts, autumn leaves, Thanksgiving turkeys, and even Christmas trees in the middle of them.  Cut the center as you desire and place it on top.  I always use a fork to poke breathing holes for the pie and then usually do the edges with my thumb or a spoon. I am certainly not the Pioneer Woman, but get it done my way.

The pie will bake for about thirty-five minutes at 400 degrees.  You must cover the edges with foil so they do not burn.  I recycle foil just for this purpose.  What I decided to do with the extra filling I made was to freeze the filling and have a quick dinner one evening…an easy meal with busy schedules or when a gift pie is needed..  Pick up a pie crust at the store and you are good to go.

Enjoy!!  It is great any time of year, but just seems so perfect when the weather gets cooler!

Thank you for asking for the recipe…I love to share it and it makes me smile to think your families will enjoy it as well.

KEEP SMILING!!

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