There’s always room for P-I-E

None of us were feeling all that well yesterday. Grey was Mr. Melty McPants. A. and I took turns taking naps and collapsing in heaps and generally being the grownup responsible.

We looked at the idea of doing the grocery shopping for the week and roundly rejected it. But then the question arose: what do we feed the gamers on Monday?

I looked in my heart and found the answer. Pie. Ever and always, pie.

I haven’t made chicken pot pie for the gamers in many moons, despite the fact it’s a perennial favorite. It’s also a pain in the heinie.

First, the pasty starter. Our recipe couldn’t be simpler. Salt (1 tablespoon), Crisco (3 scant cups) and flour (5 cups). Must be very cold to be workable. I made that before I collapsed for my nap and stuck it in the freezer.

Then, chop up 2 onions and fry them in 1/2 cup butter, while browning a bunch of chicken (3 cups?) in olive oil and rosemary. For the record, few things smell better than onions frying in butter. Add 1/2 cup flour to the onion/butter mix, 1 teaspoon salt and enough pepper to look right. (My husband winces whenever he watches me cook. This is the man who exploded in rage at the pie starter recipe because it calls for three “scant” cups Crisco. I quote: “Scant cup? Scant cup!? What the hell, I can’t do a scant cup! I took analytical chemistry!” He also, for the record, modified my pie starter recipe to read 1 tablespoon salt instead of 3 teaspoons since they’re equivalent and “You’re more likely to make a measuring error if you have to repeat the action three times. Learned that one in analytical chemistry, too.”)

Once the mixture is just right, add in 4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk. Let bubble for a little while. Add in the chicken and, uh, appropriate amounts of frozen corn and frozen carrots. (Maybe 2 cups each?)

Let that bubble on the stove while you roll out the bottom pie crusts. I used my two favorite pie pans, the “Pi” pan I got this year for Christmas and a pretty pie pan a friend gave me at Mocksgiving a few years back. They’re both bigger than my regular glass pie pans. (I have about 7 pie pans, but hold firmly that I need them all, thankyouverymuch.)

Pie in preparation
Pie in preparation

Divide the stuffing between the two shells, and cover them with a top crust. This filling will not settle, so the pie will be as full as it is now. Also, please note that since this filling is gooey you can’t redo a top crust if you mess it up.

You can freeze pot pies, or cook them straight away, or refridgerate for a day or two. Cooking time changes dramatically depending on which of those you choose, from over an hour if they’re frozen to about half an hour if they’re not. Watch the crust — it’ll tell you when it’s done.

Theoretically the pie is supposed to sit for 20 minutes to gel. I’ve rarely been patient enough for this step.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

2 thoughts on “There’s always room for P-I-E”

  1. Hm. Yes, I can see being short on the flour by a cup being a problem. I shouldn’t try to do this by memory!

    Have you noticed that the crisco tasted different since they took out the transfats, or is that my husband’s imagination?


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