For a recent meal with friends, I made a cherry pie to share, and since I knew I sometimes get carried away with lattice pie crusts and run out before I’m done weaving, I made one extra crust, just in case.
Of course, once I was done making pie, I wrapped the crust up, determined I would use it for, well, something.
When Joey spotted it, he suggested something I, amazingly, have never tried making before: a chicken pot pie, pointing out that people might have leftovers around Thanksgiving that would be perfect for such a meal.
I did a lot of digging to find just the right pot pie to try and finally landed on one from the blog “Brooklyn Supper” by Elizabeth Stark. You can find the original post at https://brooklynsupper.com/mushroom-and-leek-chicken-pot-pie/. I changed things up to include more veggies in the pot pie and added extra seasonings in my version.
Mushroom and Leek Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 large celery ribs diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 20 to 30 peppercorns
- 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs or legs
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms I used baby bellas, sliced
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 2 medium potatoes diced (I used Russet)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 sheet thawed puff pastry or one pie crust
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a Dutch oven or stockpot with a lid, add four cups water, onion, carrots and celery. Put the bay leaves and peppercorns in a tied-up cheese cloth or a tea infuser, and place that in the pot, too. (If you don’t have that, put the bay leaves directly in the water and just put freshly ground pepper, to taste, in the pot.) Turn the heat to medium, and place the lid partially covering the pot, letting the water start to simmer gently.
- Prep the chicken by sprinkling it with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Heat one to two tablespoons olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (I used cast iron) over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken, searing on all sides until it is golden brown.
- Once the chicken is golden on all sides, add it to the simmering water and put the lid back on, partially covering the pot. Let the chicken simmer until it reaches 165 internal temperature, and then carefully debone it, chopping it into bite-sized pieces as you go.
- While the chicken cooks, add another tablespoon or two of olive oil to the skillet if there isn’t much fat in the pan, and add the mushrooms and leeks, sauteing over medium heat until the leeks are soft and the mushrooms are just starting to crisp up a bit. Stir in the potatoes and the flour, continuing to saute until the flour is no longer white and all of the vegetables are evenly coated—five to 10 minutes or so.
- Remove the bundle of seasonings (or the bay leaves) from the broth pot, and begin spooning the broth into the skillet (along with the veggies), about one-half cup at a time, stirring well and giving the gravy time to thicken in between. Once all of the broth is in the skillet, and you’ve given the gravy time to thicken up, add flour, a sprinkle at a time, if you feel like it’s too runny.
- Finally, stir in the chicken and more salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and have it and a pastry brush ready for the next step.
- Roll out the puff pastry or pie dough into a circle large enough to cover the entire skillet. Carefully place it onto the top of the skillet, folding over any overhang back into the skillet.
- Brush the crust with a quick egg wash, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and cut at least two slits in the top of the pie.
- Bake for 20 minutes, turn down the heat to 350 degrees and then bake another 30 to 35 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is fully heated through.
This was really delicious, and it was amazing as leftovers, too.
As for using Thanksgiving leftovers, you’ll want to have about three cups of chicken or turkey broth that you’ll simmer the vegetables in, along with a couple cups of shredded turkey. Basically, you’ll just skip the step of sauteing the chicken and making your own broth.
And even if you don’t end up with enough leftovers to make pot pie, put this on your “to try” list. It’s hearty, filling and a great cold-night dinner.
I imagine it would be pretty fabulous with a side of leftover cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes, too.
This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 23, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.