OH MY CHICKEN POT PIE!

Maybe summer-time doesn't strike you as the time for a chicken pot pie, but if you are like me you may be secretly wishing to bring on the fall by now.  I mean why not?  Everything fabulous happens in the fall!!!  So, get ready for some "Oh My Chicken Pot Pie"!  That's right, it's good.   Now go make yourself some!  You will need 2 pie crusts; one for the bottom and one for the top of the pie.  You can use my pie crust recipe from scratch, or you use a store bought box with 2 crusts in it.  I've done both and they are both good.  The scratch crusts is flaky and I like it best, but the other is great and when you are in a pinch, it's faster and a bit easier.  In fact, if this is your first homemade pot pie, you may like to start with a store bought crust just until you get through the recipe one good time.  Whatever works for you.  Also, you will notice that I use 4 cups of chicken broth for cooking my chicken breast and vegetables in one pot and then later on in the second pot I use 2 cups of that broth in my final pot pie mixture.  This really adds flavor to the pot pie because the broth has the added chicken and vegetable flavoring in it, and this also helps you not waste any chicken broth. 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

2 pie crusts  (scratch or store bought, doesn't matter which)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of milk
3 chicken breasts (turkey will work too, but then of course it will be "oh my turkey pot pie")
1/3 cup of chopped carrots (chopped in small pieces)
1/3 cup of chopped celery (chopped in small pieces)

INSTRUCTIONS:

*Before starting, prepare your (9") pie dish bottom with one of the pie crusts.*

1.  Cut away the inedible portions of the chicken breasts and chop all three breasts into bite size pieces.
2.  In a small/medium sized pot, 4 cups of chicken broth.
3.  Heat to a light boil and add the chicken pieces, carrots, and celery to cook.  Cook until chicken is done and carrots are tender.
4.  Use a mesh spatula to remove all the chicken and vegetables and set aside in another bowl until later.
5.  In a separate small/medium sized pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
6.  Add the onions for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
7.  Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper until well blended.
8.  Gradually stir in 2 cups of broth from the first pot and milk, cooking and stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.
9.  Stir in the cooked chicken and vegetables to smooth mixture.
10.  Remove from the heat and spoon the creamy chicken mixture into the crusted pie dish.
11.  Lay the second crust over the top of the pie and cut around the edges of the dish to remove excess pie crust.
12.  Pinch or flute the pie crust edges all the way around.
13.  Cut 5 slits in the pie crust top to vent the steam while cooking.
14.  Bake at 425 F for 30-45 minutes.  Be careful when spooning out and eating right away, it will be very hot!

EXTRA FUN TIPS:
1.  Once you've measured 2 cups of broth out of the first pot, you may have some left over.  You can throw it out or you could freeze it in an ice tray and use the cubed broth later on in another recipe.
2.  I use my index finger on both hands to press down and inward to flute the pie crust all the way around.  You can use a fork or just press every half inch all the way around, whatever works for you.
3.  You may need to lay a sheet of foil over the pie once it browns on top to keep it from getting too dark or burning.
4.  You can make the pot pies and freeze them instead of cooking them.  Then when you need one you'll have it ready to pop in the oven.  If you cook one from the freezer, either allow it to thaw and then bake for 45 minutes or put it in the oven frozen and allow it to cook for at least an hour and a half to be sure it has thawed and cooked in the oven completely.  A frozen pot pie in the oven takes much longer to cook but if you start ahead of dinner time then all is well. :) 
5.  These frozen pies make very thoughtful gifts to people who have just had a new baby or have had a loss in the family.  It makes things easier for them, but if you give them as a gift, be sure to let them know how to cook it. :)