Maybe it’s just me, but no matter how much I love to cook there’s always a sense of dread associated with the activity— especially if it’s a week night. Luckily, Jon and I ended up gifting each other crock pots for Christmas last year which has turned out to be a major game changer. Instead of me half cooking, half exercising/ showering/ reading/writing/ engaging with Jon or catching up with friends on the phone, I simply take an extra second to add “crock pot” at the end of any search for dinner inspiration and bam— my evening is restored. While I can’t say I’ve had a ton of success crock potting, I honestly swear by the chicken pot pie recipe below. On the one hand, we all could just buy a Marie Calendar, slap it in the oven and walk away; but on the other hand, if you have more than one mouth to feed, this is sooo easy and wonderful tasting it’s almost nonsensical not to make it yourself! Plus, like most comforting leftovers, this gets better and better every day!
Before I get into the ins and outs of the recipe, here are just a few of my findings:
- If you can afford range free chicken– just get it. It could be all mental, but I really do find it less rubbery.
- Frozen vegetables are your friend. Grab whatever pea/ carrot/ corn mixture is available.
- Potatoes can definitely add some hardiness but it shouldn’t be the star of the show. Unless you up the quantities on everything else, you won’t need more than 2 big potatoes for this recipe. Even if you just have 1, I wouldn’t worry about it.
- The pie crust also doesn’t have to be the star of the show if you don’t want it to be. The first couple times I used a little pie pan with pie dough on the bottom and draped another pie shell on top. Now I usually use a deeper pan and only drape pastry on top. I still get my doughy goodness but there’s way more room for the meat and veggies.
With all that in mind (or not), check out the recipe below!
C R O C K P O T C H I C K E N P O T P I E
1.25 – 1.5 Pounds chicken breast
2 Teaspoons dried onion
1/4 Teaspoon sage
1/4 Teaspoon thyme
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
3 Small potatoes
22 Ounces cream of chicken soup
16 Ounces mixed vegetables
- Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, thyme, sage and dried onion. Place chicken at the bottom of the crock pot. Pour 1 can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken.
- Peel (optional) and chop potatoes into 3/4 ” cubes. Place potatoes into the crock pot.
- Cover the crock pot and turn the temperature on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
- During the last hour of cook time, pour frozen vegetables into the crock pot and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid back onto the pot and it cook for it’s final hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a fork, puncture and pull chicken into shreds. For me, it was easier to remove the chicken form the crock pot and handle it on a plate. If you have a fork that’s long enough for you to dig in there, that’s fine too!
- Pour chicken and the contents of the crock pot into your dish of choice. Drape pastry over the dish so there are no openings along the side.
Note: this recipe will probably fill two pie pans, or one 8 x 8 dish. If you are using pre-made pie pans and prefer pastry on the top and the bottom– you’ll need a total of 4 pastries. For the pastry on the bottom, use a paring knife to slice the rim and remove the pie crust before you add the chicken. Ultimately you’ll only need the crust from the draping pastry and can smooth that along the edges.
7. Place baking dish into the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.