This all started because I had leftover baked chicken. We’d had it just-baked, in salads, etc. Usually, I will just make chicken and rice to use it up, but I wanted something different this time. These little pies were so good and oh so easy!! So I will try to recreate what I did here, for you and for me, lol. Typical of my cooking experiments, I sorta winged it, so you will need to use your own experience to help build this dish (but it will be so worth it).
Baked chicken, cut up in cubes (white and dark meat, mixed)
½ bag of 10 oz. frozen mixed vegies
1-3 generous tablespoons of white flour
2 tablespoons Butter (we use real butter at my house, no margarine)
Chicken broth (actually, I used something called ‘Flavor Boost’ by Swanson… see comments in recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste
8” pie crust - 1
2 ramekins, each about 4 ¼” diameter and 2” deep
1 foil-covered cookie sheet
What I did:
I made my pie crust dough first, because I like to let it rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes before I roll it out. If you don’t make your own crusts, a store-bought one should be just fine and do whatever you do with one (I've never used one, so I'm blank on how they work, lol).
While the pie dough was resting, I made my sauce. It’s really what I call a roux but I’m not sure a true chef would call what I do a roux. If you've ever made white gravy (remember having bread ‘n gravy or biscuits ‘n gravy?), then it’s a thicker version of that. I get my butter hot and throw in about 2-3 generous tablespoons of white flour (I use a wooden spoon, so about 3 of those). I intended to add chicken broth, but I remembered I’d purchased this stuff called ‘Flavor Boost’, so I opened one of those. It’s a strange packet of chicken goop. I’m not sure I would use it regularly in anything, but it worked ok in this. It looks awful, lol. I suppose it’s a reduced version of chicken broth. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it (see pic below). However, it worked fine, and one package was enough to give my pie the flavor I was looking for, so I can recommend it for soups, pot pies, etc. I mixed all these ingredients together to make a very thick sauce, then added milk (we use 1%) to loosen it up a bit and add some volume for my pie. You will have to guess on this (sorry, I didn't measure), but you know for a pot pie, you want your sauce creamy, not runny, and not a lot of it. I added the half bag of mixed veggies and some cubed chicken. I used probably 2 cups of chicken and half the bag of veggies but again, I was eyeballing this based on the size of my ramekin dishes. I let this filling simmer on the stove while I made the tops to my pie.
|Flavor boost (duh)|
I rolled out my pie crust. I like to make my own crusts, so make your pie crust as you normally do or if you prefer, just get one of the store-bought ones. One pie crust made both tops, and I didn't put any crust on the bottom of these pies. I used my ramekin and made an indentation in the crust so I could get an idea of the size I needed (see pic). I decided to free-form the top a bit, so I generously cut the crust bigger than my dish. I also buttered the outside of the dish where I thought the crust would hang over, so it would come off easier (because that’s the best part, and I always eat my crusts!).
|this just gave me a rough idea of the size, although i made my tops bigger so they would hang down the side of the bowls|
I spooned the filling into the ramekins and decided to let them sit just a few minutes, so I wasn't putting my crust on a piping hot pie. I didn't want my crust to ‘melt’ into the pie. While the filling was cooling, I put all my dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Side note: I hate a dirty kitchen with dishes piled up, especially when I’m being creative and make a huge mess. I just don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up, so one of the first things I do when I’m cooking like this is run a sink full of hot, soapy water. Then, as I use various dishes and spoons and such, I just toss them in the water. When I reach a point in my cooking where I can stop to clean up a bit, these dishes are ready to go in the dishwasher with all that excess shortening or sticky dough or whatever soaked off.
|ramekins filled with no top crust yet|
|ever see a sink full of dirty dishes?? haha|
After cleaning things up, I was ready to put my tops on. I just sorta flopped them on top of the ramekins and then molded them to the shape of the bowl, letting the crust hang down a bit over the sides. I cut 4 slits in the top for steam. Then, I decided to really get fancy and make a couple of leaves for each top out of the extra dough. This was easy: I just took a knife, cut an almond shape leaf, then used the knife to press in the veins on the leaf. After the tops were decorated, I brushed some egg mixed with a little of water on top so they would brown nicely.
|ready for baking!|
Bake them at 4250F for about 30 minutes on the foil-covered cookie sheet (saves your oven in case there’s a pie leak), till you know they are warmed through. Let them rest about 5 minutes or so before serving. I actually put mine in the refrigerator for about an hour and half before I cooked them, because my husband wasn’t home from work yet. I took them directly from the refrigerator to the oven for about 30-40 minutes. I served mine with a piece of cheese and some wonderful wine we had (also a leftover! ha). A nice wedge salad would be good, too.
These were so yummy! Just think- it’s not just for chicken! Beef, turkey, just vegies if you want… it’s a great way to use up leftovers or just something different with your baked chicken, etc. Let me know if you try it! If I left any information out, please send me a note, and I’ll try to explain. Happy cooking!