Have you heard that there's a major snow storm bearing down on the eastern seaboard? We probably won't get much accumulation in DC, but it's going to be very cold and windy for this part of the country into the weekend. Good thing I have this recipe for Cheater's Chicken Pot Pie for you! It's comfort food at its best - perfect for the weather we have coming our way.
I call it "Cheater's" Chicken Pot Pie because, when I created the recipe, I used every short-cut possible. It doesn't take too long to make and it doesn't require any fancy tools or techniques and, as a bonus, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your fridge and/or freezer! It's absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself.
Cheater's Chicken Pot Pie
serves 6, or 4 with leftovers
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
2 cups carrots, chopped (I used baby carrots)
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbs minced garlic (as usual, I used pre-minced garlic from a jar)
1/2 frozen peas
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used reduced sodium)
3 tbs vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4c grated Gruyère or other hard cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once it's ready, lightly oil the the casserole dish you'll use for the chicken pot pie and place the two chicken breasts, unseasoned, inside; bake until they're just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining oil in a large sauté pan with high sides and heat over a medium-high flame. Sauté onions and chopped carrots together, stirring frequently to make sure the onion doesn't burn, about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute before adding the frozen peas. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, combining all the vegetables well. Remove from heat.
When the chicken is done, remove the breasts to a cutting board. Keep the casserole dish and the accumulated juices from the chicken to hand! Chop or shred the chicken and add the pieces to the vegetable mixture in the large sauté pan. Pour in the two cans of cream of mushroom soup and gradually add in another can's worth of water. (You might not need the entire can of water; it depends how liquidy the vegetable mixture is. I used about 3/4 of the can of water.) Stir well and taste, seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. (I didn't add any salt, but depending on the brand of soup you use and whether or not you choose reduced sodium, which I did, you might want to.)
Use the juices from the chicken breast to oil the casserole dish, making sure to get the sides as well as the bottom, and drape the thawed puff pastry over the dish. You can do this however you want based on the shape of your bakewear; mine is rectangular with high sides, so I placed two sheets perpendicular to the length with a few inches of dough overhanging the sides. (You want to make sure there's enough pastry to enclose the chicken pot pie mixture, though it's not the end of the world if the top isn't entirely covered.) Pour the contents of the sauté pan into the dough in the casserole dish and wrap the remaining pastry over the mixture. If you choose to use cheese, sprinkle it over the top of the chicken pot pie at this point.
Bake for 50 minutes, serve, and enjoy!