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Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Piiiiieee!

Good news!  I finally got around to making Chicken Pot Pie today.  Well… a sort of bastardised, custom-made version of it anyway…  I’ll admit, it was a serious, SERious wing-job.  I definitely had no idea if it’d turn out at all, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, and I’ll say I was very pleasantly surprised.

It all started with the dang Gravy for this coming Thursday (Thanksgiving).   I told my mother I’d help her with some of the cooking so she wouldn’t have to do it all herself.  One of the things I agreed to make was the Gravy… we’re having a Chicken for T-Day as well as a Turkey, as the general consensus among Thursday’s attendees was that Chicken is way tastier than Turkey… So I decided to make a Chicken Gravy.  Sadly mum refused to let me make the Gravy fresh, on the day-of, from the Chicken we were actually going to be eating, and instead insisted that I make it several days before-hand so as to minimise any stress, unecessary kitchen-crowding and any other general havoc.  Meh.

So I only know three ways to make Chicken Gravy: 1. With Giblets.  (Ew.),  2. From a packet, tin, jar, etc., or 3. With the drippings of an actual Roast Chicken.  Well, as previously stated, I think we can all agree that Giblets are yucky (I’m so refined, aren’t I?), and I certainly wasn’t going to make a powdered Gravy, so the only other option was… to roast a whole dang Chicken.  And that’s exactly what I did today.  It came out lovely and flavourful and made the house smell spectacular and produced a beautiful rich broth which I used to make the gravy.  Yay.  Mission accomplished.  But then there was the issue of a whole roast Chicken just chillin’ on the counter, all dressed up and noplace to go.  How sad.  So I told mom not to make dinner tonight, that I’d do so instead…. enter…[dramatic fanfare]… Chicken Pot Pie!

I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Pot Pie… I mean for forever now…. like since I’ve ever even known it existed… I’ve just never gotten around to it… partially because I’ve heard my family admit to not being so keen on it in general….  But neverthheless, I’ve been intent on giving it a go for years and years now, and today was that fateful day, my friends.  I decided to put my own spin on the classic which I had a hunch might make it bit more to my family’s tastes than the traditional version….  For starters, I hate making shortcrust pastry dough (an odd thing to say for someone who loves to bake as much as I do, I know), it’s just such a darn pain, and not particularly healthy, to boot.  So I decided to borrow Martha Stewart’s method of substituting the traditional crust with a layer of Phyllo Dough on top…  to lighten things up.  Well that would have required a trip to my supermarket’s freezer aisle… which I didn’t have a problem with… until it became clear that I wasn’t going to have a car in time to make said trip, so I had to improvise.  I decided I’d attempt a sort of  savoury cobbler/crumble/streusel-like top layer with Bisquick and Butter.  (Admittedly not much more healthy than the Shortcrust Pastry, I know, but DARN tasty!!)  It worked out nicely…. I shredded the breast meat of the Roast Chicken which turned out to be the perfect amount for the dish, and I chopped up Potatoes, Carrots and Onions, tossed them in Olive Oil with some minced Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Paprika and roasted the vegetables until they were nice and brown and very flavourful.  I sauteed some chopped Onions in Butter and then threw in some Flour, Chicken Stock and a little Heavy Whipping Creme and seasoned it all with fresh Pepper, Salt and a dash of fresh grated Nutmeg to make a lovely thick Gravy.  I mixed the Chicken, roasted Veg, a few scoops of frozen peas and some fresh Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (yeah now I have that song stuck in my head, great), put them in a ceramic pie dish, poured the Gravy over it, and then sprinkled the Bisquick Streusel over the top and jammed it in the oven.  It turned out fantastically!  Even my Pot Pie Pooh Pooh-ing family loved it.  : )

I decided to roast the Veg because I love the flavour of roasted Root Vegetables, and thought it would offer a much richer flavour to the dish than just tossing them in with the Gravy and simmering till tender like I saw in other recipes.  I’ll definitely make it again, it’s great for using up perfectly good left-over Chicken, and it’s one of those nice dishes that’s adaptable to whatever happens to be available in the cupboards, so you don’t have to run out to the store and buy a bunch of stuff to make it…  I’m still keen on trying the Phyllo Dough at some point though.  Mmmm. I wish I had another bowl of it right now….  ; d

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