Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Just Like Pot Pie...Only Without The Pot...Or The Pie For That Matter

Good evening everyone! I can't believe that it's already Thursday! It seems like this week has just flown by, much like all of the weeks this summer. I saw a school bus for the first time in months today - it's hard to believe that summer is already winding to a close!

Tonight, I took to the kitchen with yet another chicken recipe. Maggie and I (unintentionally) picked all chicken recipes this week - but the interesting part was how unique each recipe was. Despite the fact that we were using the same main ingredient, we both had a different dish to make out of it. My dish tonight was something I had never heard of - let alone attempted before chicken pot a skillet! (although in the end I think it's a little bit of a misnomer). More on that later, first let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
Original Recipe Found In:

What You'll Need:

1.5 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Medium Onion, Minced
1 Celery Rib, Sliced
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Dry Vermouth or White Wine
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme (1/4 teaspoon dried)
2 Cups Frozen Pea-Carrot Medley, Thawed

* For this recipe, you can actually make your own biscuits. However, if you have a time crunch, or just don't want to go to all the effort of making biscuits (I was guilty of that tonight) you can use Pillsbury Homestyle biscuits, which according to the folks at America's Test Kitchen, are the best on the market.

Follow the instructions on the biscuit container to prepare and cook your biscuits. Once finished cooking, set aside until you are finished with the entire dish.

No, there isn't one missing - there are only 8 in a package! 

Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12 inch skillet. Warm the butter until the foam begins to recede. Essentially, once you can start to see the golden color of the butter again (not the white foam) you're good to go.

Seasoning with some salt - note the particles in mid air! 
Place your chicken breasts into the pan and allow to cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown. Once browned, transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.

Next, add the remaining butter to the skillet and heat until completely melted. Add in your onion, celery and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions begin to soften. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir in your flour, and mix until everything is blended. Allow to simmer for another minute after this.

Pour in your vermouth (we couldn't find any vermouth, so we opted to use dry white wine - as far as our research showed, they are essentially the same thing. Vermouth is a fortified wine that includes some herbs and spices - but the main flavor you are going for here is that of the white wine, so no big deal if you can't track down vermouth) and cook until the alcohol is evaporated. At this temperature that should only take about 30 seconds to 1 minute. (You should be able to smell the alcohol cooking off - once the alcohol smell fades, you know you're good to move onto the next step).

Slowly whisk in your cream and your chicken broth. Sprinkle in your thyme as well. Whisk until everything is well blended and then allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once it's nice and bubbly, nestle your chicken breasts amongst the sauce and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the chicken breasts until they reach that magical temperature - 160 to 165 degrees. This should take about 10 minutes, depending on the state of your chicken breasts. Our chicken was still slightly frozen, so cooking time ballooned to 20 to 30 minutes.

Cooking away... 

Once the chicken has reached its desired temperature, pluck the little guys out of the skillet and set aside to cool (yes, I realize that sounds completely counter with me here, I promise it pays off). Stir in your pea-carrot medley into the skillet and cook for around 5 minutes until everything is cooked through. (Yes, I'm trying another recipe that calls for peas. I'm sure my family is shocked...frankly, I am too!)

Once your chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the breasts into strips. (See, if you would have just jumped in and tried to do this right out of the skillet, you would have burned yourself! I told you it would make sense!) You can also slice the breasts into strips, cubes, rectangles, tetrahedrons - whatever you prefer, with a chef's knife. Return the shredded chicken to the skillet and cook everything together for another 5 minutes.

I chose to go with the standard 'cube' shape

You can either top the skillet with your biscuits, or slice the biscuits open and serve the sauce on top of them. We opted for option number 2.

The Results:

Delicious! It tasted like, well...chicken pot pie! The sauce was a blend of creamy chicken flavoring and fresh peas-carrots. The chicken was amazingly juicy and pulled in all of the surrounding flavors while cooking. Topped over some fresh, soft, Pillsbury biscuits this recipe was absolutely fantastic!

The reason I think this dish is a little bit of a misnomer is due to the absolute lack of any pot or pie! Normally, a chicken pot pie is in a pot and served with some form of crust. I realize this recipe is 'skillet' pot pie, so the pot should be left out - but one would think that you would at least serve it in the skillet. (Okay, that is an option, but by the time your done cooking your skillet is overflowing with goodies, so it's not a very practical option) Secondly, the 'crust' of this pot pie isn't exactly a crust - which sort of cancels out the entire 'pie' aspect. Oh well, I suppose it's all just semantics and all that really matters is that the end result was tasty! Still, it makes you wonder who names some of these recipes...

The only real adventure we had tonight involved our onion. To help me out, Maggie minced the onion while I was on my way home from work. Apparently she got a little overzealous with the food processor and instead of mincing the onion...she sort of 'pureed' it. I originally thought this would ruin the recipe, since the first stages of cooking the onion resulted in a nasty paste - however, I decided to take my chances and see what would happen. In the end, the onion flavor was a little more intense, but the overall dish was not at all ruined. It just goes to show that you don't have to have everything perfect to still make a dish come out tasty.

That's all we have for you tonight. We're off tomorrow night and Saturday. However, we do have a unique idea for a post on Sunday, so be sure to stop by Sunday afternoon to check out that post. One more thing of note before we go tonight - the blog now has its own email address! is the new official way to get in contact with either Maggie or I about the blog. Have a suggestion for a recipe? Send it our way! Feedback, tips, whatever you may want to say about the blog - send it our way! We look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time,


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