About 5 years ago, when I worked in an office, we were situated across the street from a Save On Foods (for those outside of western Canada, they’re a grocery store chain). They had an ok deli. An ok deli with a stellar chicken pot pie.
I’m not kidding. This was comfort food as good as it comes served piping hot. It wasn’t unusual to find at least one person in the building chowing down on a Save On chicken pot pie at lunch hour.
It prompted a lot of discussions about what makes a good pot pie. And the resounding agreement was… salt. Yup. It’s like a more solid version of a hearty chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. It’s the hot, salty, chicken broth, or sauce in this case, that you want.
That much salt isn’t terribly healthy but let’s face it, if you’re eating a pot pie you’re downing flaky pastry and a rich creamy sauce. It’s unlikely its health rating is high on your radar.
I have a great go to recipe for Chicken Pot Pie but for years, I made it with regular chicken stock. It was good but, it never managed to get that perfect salt, chicken flavour balance that the deli pot pie had, even when tinkering with the salt ratio.
And then, a few years ago, by complete accident, I stumbled on the answer. Let me preface this by saying I very, very rarely use packaged mixes. I buy them the odd time and usually they wind up sitting in the cupboard until they expire and then they get thrown out. I would rather cook from scratch every time if I can.
But… on this particular day I thought I had chicken stock in the pantry. Only I didn’t… and my roux for the sauce was well under way. Urrrrgggh! I searched the cupboard for a carton and the only thing I could find was a jar of Oxo Chicken in a Mug that I keep around for my dad. That flourescent yellow powder with green flecks in it… that’s the stuff. I needed something so I boiled some water and made two cups of it and used it.
Perfect. Perfect salt and flavour ratio. I have also since discovered that it’s great for adding to the rice cooker when you want chicken flavoured rice.
And ever since then, my chicken, or in this case turkey, pot pies have gotten rave reviews. And I’ve only ever told two people the reason why. Until now 🙂
Turkey pot pie is a perfect way to get rid of extra turkey leftovers and it’s so versatile. You can absolutely make it with just turkey and the traditional peas and carrots and some cubed potato bits. But, after Christmas, I put almost the entire leftover dinner in the pie.
This time around we made a mashup of wild rice and bread stuffing together (tremendously tasty by the way) and the leftovers went in the pie, as did the leftover roast parsnips, nugget potatoes and sweet potatoes. I threw in a cup of frozen peas as well.
This recipe makes enough for a very deep pot pie in a casserole dish or a less deep pie with two individual pies as well. I only do pastry on the top because I don’t like my pies, dessert or savory, to be overwhelmed with pastry. I’m a filling kinda gal.
The recipe is adapted from an old Betty Crocker recipe with instructions for both the chicken oxo method and regular chicken stock.
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 2 cup diced, parboiled or already cooked potatoes
- 1 cup of additional add-ins: can be carrots, broccoli, or, as I used in this version, leftover turkey sutffing
- ½ cup margarine or butter
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ tsp of salt (if you use chicken broth. Drop to ¼ tsp if you use the Oxo)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 cups of chicken broth (or add two heaping teaspoons of Oxo Chicken in a Mug to two cups of boiling water)
- 1 cup milk (I use 2% but you can use skim or whole milk)
- 3 cups of diced turkey (or chicken if you want a chicken pot pie)
- 2 9 pinch pie crusts
- Grease a large casserole dish (I use a 10x8x3 oval white casserole dish) with butter or spray with a non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 425F
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat
- Add onions and saute until soft
- Add flour, salt and pepper and stir in well. Keep stirring constantly until the mixture is bubbly and smooth
- Remove from heat. Slowly add in milk and broth, stirring constantly to keep the mixture smooth.
- Return to heat and bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Let it boil for 1 minute.
- Add turkey, peas, potatoes and your additional items, stir in and remove from heat.
- Roll out your pastry to match the shape of your dish. 2 nine inch pastry crusts will give you enough dough for a big casserole and two small individuals pies.
- Pour chicken mixture into greased casserole dish (and the smaller dishes as well if you are doing individual ones.
- Fit crust on top, cut out a few holes to allow steam to escape.
- Put them all in the oven. The small individual portions will be done in about 15-20 minutes. The large casserole will take about 35 minutes. But check regularly - once the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, they're done!
This post is not sponsored by Oxo in any shape or form. This is just what I use and it works!