After experiencing some really great pot pies around the city, we decided it would be a good idea to try making them at home. Since these pot pies already bring comfort to our bellies in diners and restaurants, wouldn’t it be even better if we didn’t even have to leave the house for one? At first, the flavours of the pies in restaurants and diners seemed too complex to build, but after looking at the ingredients and instructions, we couldn’t let the high standards hold us back from trying. And so, we gathered our ingredients, tied on our aprons, and went to work.
This recipe was inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis. Her original recipe is published on the Food Network website. One of the main ingredients we changed was the meat – we used chicken instead of turkey. We had chicken in the freezer, and decided to use that instead, as all our turkey leftovers from Christmas had been annihilated.
Cooking the filling was easy. The trickiest parts were cooking the pancetta, making sure that it didn’t overcook (unless you like crunchy pancetta in your pot pie), and ensuring the flour coated the carrots and onions evenly before adding the chicken broth. We added an extra half cup of corn to the filling to match the amount of peas, because who doesn’t like more corn? We ran out of frozen corn just then, but were saved by canned corn niblets I had stockpiled from a sale. (Thank you, Save-On Foods!)
After the filling was ready, our eyes gleamed with delight. If you could smell our kitchen at that moment, you too would grab a spoon and just eat the filling as is. We had to contain ourselves, so we ladled the filling into our ramekins, and said bye to the filling as we sealed it up with the crust. We would have loved to make the pie crust, but the store bought version was looking straight at us. It did save us time in the end, and it tasted great.
25 anxious minutes later, we had ourselves half a dozen pot pies! The pie crust looked good, and the smell of the pancetta, chicken, and thyme together were just intoxicating. After the pot pies cooled down, we punctured the crust and went at it. At first, the filling seemed a bit runny, but the liquid was quickly absorbed into the crust. Our first attempt was a success, and we would definitely make this again… and perhaps share next time!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces finely diced pancetta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups (about 14 ounces) cooked chicken thigh, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 package of store bought pie crust