It wasn’t very often we’d go without a home-cooked meal when I was growing up. But there were times.
And on some of those occasions, when Mom didn’t have time to fix something for us, we had pot pies, the kind from Swanson’s. There were chicken, beef and turkey, as I recall. And they weren’t too bad. either. The nicest thing about those one-pot meals is they didn’t leave you with a big mess in the kitchen.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a pot pie, but a recent e-mail I received about one-pot meals contained a recipe for one from celebrity chef Jeffrey Saad, who was runner-up on Season Five of “The Next Food Network Star” and is a national spokesperson for the Incredible Edible Egg.
While the store-bought versions were pretty tasty, I’m sure the following would be at least as good if not much better with fresh ingredients.
Garam Masala Chicken Pot Pie
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus 2 teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting puff pastry
3 cups chicken stock
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1½ tablespoons garam masala, plus more for sprinkling
2 sheets (1-pound package) frozen puff pastry, defrosted slightly
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium-size pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown on both sides until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a cutting board and reserve.
To the same pot add the garlic, shallots, and carrots and saute until golden.
Remove the vegetables to a bowl and reserve.
Turn the heat down to medium.
Melt the butter in the pot, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock, and potatoes and cook until potatoes are mostly cooked but still firm, about 8 to 10 minutes. The chicken stock will have thickened to a sauce consistency. Turn off the heat. Chop the chicken into chunks and add the chicken and veggies back to the pot. Stir in the peas, and then the 1½ tablespoons garam masala and 2 teaspoons salt. Ladle the mixture into 4 (10-ounce) oven safe bowls.
On a flat work surface, dust the puff pastry with flour and roll it out just a little thinner than it comes. Cut the puff pastry in squares large enough to hang over the sides of each bowl. Cover the bowls with the puff pastry pressing down around the sides. Brush with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with some more garam masala. Cut a slit in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Transfer to the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Yield: Serves 4.