Monday, April 2, 2012

Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie

I'm not a grandmother (yet), but I decided a while ago that my granny name--should I ever be so privileged to be one (not to put any pressure on any of our offspring)-- would be "Mimi."

My grandmothers were Nanny and Mammaw, and, while I loved them, I can't picture either of those names applying to moi (not a typo). I am more of a Mimi, I think. I'm pretty sure I would also be a good yia-yia.

But whether you're a grandmaw, a nanny, a mammaw, a mimi or a yia-yia, you're going to be feeding people. It's what we do. And what's more of a grandmaw dish than Chicken Pot Pie?

The thing I love about this "recipe" is that you can do it as mammaw did--or you can take some of the shortcuts mammaw probably wished she had available. Pick your shortcuts. I'm pretty sure both my grandmothers' recipes began with this step: Catch a chicken and wring its neck. I skipped that one.

Step 1: Pastry in a lightly oiled, well-seasoned iron skillet.

You can make the pastry or you can buy it. But place it in the bottom of an iron skillet.

Step 2: Chicken and vegetables in a cream sauce

You can cook the chicken or you can buy rotisserie chicken. Either way, you're going to be pulling or slicing chicken. You can saute fresh vegetables or you can heat frozen ones. You can make a bechamel sauce or you can use canned cream soups. You need to end up with a mix of chicken, vegetables, and sauce that is pleasing to you--and is the right, thickened, seasoned consistency to be poured into the bottom of the pie shell.

Step 3: Pastry on top

Regardless of whether you made the pastry or bought it, you need to place another piece on top and seal the edges. Then make a few slits in the top to let the steam escape while baking.

Step 4: Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes until the inside is heated and the pastry is browned. Monitor the pastry. The edges will brown more quickly than the center, so you may want to cover the edges in foil about halfway through.

Step 5: Serve Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie

Here's what was left in the pan. Leftovers. Yum.

Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie. That's what we're having.

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