When I think of Chicken Pie, I always think of my Mom and what a great cook she is. By nature she is a southern cook through and through and I would be willing to put her southern cuisine up against the best of them. Fried chicken and potato salad; slow cooked roast with mashed potatoes and gravy; fried pork chops with fresh lima beans; deviled eggs to die for…the list goes on. My Mom has had a huge impact on my interest in food. Even at a young age, I was in the kitchen concocting something for the family dinner. It wasn’t always well received (imagine Beef Wellington from a sassy 15-year-old) but the family was supportive nonetheless.
Now my trips to see my Mom are definitely highlighted by us cooking together on the Sundays when I am able to make it home. We whip up all kinds of food and my brothers and their families come over for great food and family time. Sunday lunch is usually followed by a game of cards at the table or fishing for bass and bream in the pond.
But, back to the Southern Chicken Pie. This is my Mom’s recipe with a few modifications. She prefers to cut up fresh carrots and add other veggies; I prefer a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. She uses canned cream of chicken soup; I make my own cream of chicken soup using the broth from cooking the chicken breast. You can use whatever you prefer, and by using frozen veggies and canned soup, you will save some time. I’m just not a fan of all the additives in canned soup and prefer my homemade version.
The best chicken for a delicious Chicken Pie is a whole chicken breast with the skin and bones intact. I just happened to have one in the freezer. Place the chicken breast in a pot and cover with water by about an inch. This is what you get:
Just a note here: rarely do I boil meat for cooking but I do on occasion for things like Chicken Tinga and Pho. I have found that when you want the end result to not be very dry, boiling meat can produce some good results. This Chicken Pie is worthy of moist chicken!
I usually boil the chicken breast for 30-45 minutes depending on the size. This one was hefty so it got the full 45 minute boil. As it is boiling, make sure to skim off the “scum”. This is just what boiling meat produces. So don’t be afraid and get out a slotted spoon and skim that scum!
Now no scum…
Once the chicken breast is done, remove it from the broth (save the broth!!!) and place it in a casserole to cool.
While the chicken is cooling, get together your spices for the homemade cream of chicken soup.
The creamy soup is easy. Just follow the recipe below to get a flavorful, preservative free soup for your Chicken Pie. I cook it until it is thick, but not too thick. Make it thinner than warm custard, like a too thick gravy. Remember this is supposed to be like a condensed soup out of a can.
Once the chicken is cool, remove the skin and shred it off the bone to get something like this:
Defrost the veggies in the microwave and drain. Add these to the casserole, covering the chicken.
Now mix 1 1/2 cups of the soup mixture with 1-1 1/2 cups of the broth until you get a creamy soup. Not too thin, not too thick. Add salt to taste, maybe 1/4 teaspoon. Pour this over the vegetables and chicken.
For the crusty topping mix 1 cup milk (or buttermilk) with 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Stir until well blended. Pour this over the top of the casserole.
Bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes until the top is browned and the center is bubbly.
Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Now cut out a big chunk and sit down and enjoy a piece of southern heaven.
Til’ next time…
Southern Chicken Pie
1 large chicken breast, bone in and skin on
16 oz package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 1/2 cup homemade cream of chicken soup (recipe below) or 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
Reserved broth as needed
salt to taste
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
Place chicken breast in a medium size pot, skin side up, and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium high and cook 30-45 minutes, depending on size of breast, until cooked through. Add more water as needed to keep it covered. Remove chicken breast from broth and allow to cool. Reserve the broth.
Preheat oven to 375F. Remove the skin from the chicken breast and shred the chicken from the bone. Place in the bottom of an 8×8 casserole dish. Defrost frozen vegetables in the microwave and drain. Add the vegetables to the casserole on top of the chicken. Mix 1-1 1/2 cup of the reserved broth with the cream of chicken soup and add salt to taste. Pour this over the vegetables and chicken. Mix milk, flour and melted butter with a whisk until smooth. Gently pour on top of the casserole.
Bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes until the center is bubbly and the top is brown. Place on a sheet pan, if needed, to catch any drips. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
In a medium pot, combine chicken broth, 1/4 cup of the milk and the seasonings. Bring to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and flour until smooth. Add to the boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Use in recipes as you would canned condensed cream of chicken soup.