Chicken pot pie is one of those classic American foods that I never had growing up. In my mind it was always the quintessential example of non-kosher food. But watching TV commercials where Stouffer's frozen pot pies were coming out of ovens piping hot with crisp crusts and all that creamy filling while I ate my stuffed cabbage and paprikash has always stayed with me. Fast forward about 15 years to when I had just given birth to my daughter and neighbors were filling my fridge with all sorts of goodies. One neighbor brought us a whole roasted chicken that we hardly ate and so I was left wondering what to do with so much leftover chicken-and thus the chicken pot pie was born (in my house). After the first bite my husband wanted to renew our vows- enough said. It's been a while since I made it and this time I decided to put a little twist on it with a cornbread crust. I know it feels a little sacrilegious to eat a chicken dish that is so creamy but I am telling you that it is worth it and G-d will forgive you. I didn't use leftovers this time but feel free to use whatever leftover chicken or turkey you have around- it makes a great unusual addition to Shabbat lunch!
For the filling:
3 chicken breasts, on the bone with skin (or 3 cups leftover chicken)
3 Tbl white wine (optional, but I threw it in this time and I really like the depth of flavor it gave)
5 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 medium potatoes, diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 1/2 cups (or more) of frozen peas
(these are the veggies I used and they are pretty classic but feel free to add any others: mushrooms, turnips, kohlrabi, corn, sweet potato etc.)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup margarine or oil
1 1/2 cups water (or 1 1/2 cups chicken soup/stock and then omit the soup mix)
11/2 cups soy milk
2 Tbl chicken soup mix
garlic powder, salt and pepper
Start by seasoning the chicken breast with salt and pepper and browning it in a little oil in a frying pan. Let it cook through on top of the stove, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Take the chicken out, let it cool
and cut into cubes.
In the same pan with all the good chicken bits, add the onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, peas, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes until the vegetables start to get soft. Transfer the veggies to a bowl.
In a small pot, melt the margarine and add the flour to make a roux. Mix the chicken soup mix into the water and add the soy milk into it. Slowly add the mixture into the roux and mix constantly to prevent lumps. Season with garlic powder and let it cook a few minutes until it gets thick. Pour over the vegetables, add the chicken cubes and transfer to a 9x13 pyrex pan. Spread the crust on top and bake at 350 till the crust is golden, about a half an hour.
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
11/2 cups flour
2TB baking powder
4 1/2 Tbl sugar
11/2 cups soy milk
2 large eggs
5 Tbl oil
(the crust is based on a recipe by Cristina Ferrare)
Mix together dry and wet in separate bowls and then add wet into dry. Its's as easy and yummy as that.
And now for the big reveal: