The Gourmet Touch: When did meat pies go out of style?
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Oct 03, 2012 | 2219 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When someone mentions “pie,” what usually comes to your mind? This is not a hard question for me because my love for sweets certainly makes me think of dessert pies of all kinds.

Of course, I know there are savory versions that are just as popular as their sweet cousins. I was somewhat surprised when I read an article several years ago that stated that “homey meat pies are back in style.” Actually, I never realized they had gone out of style, especially chicken pot pie, which is one of the most popular versions of the “homey” pie.

Recently when we had “Old Fashion Day” at our church, someone brought a wonderful chicken pot pie. It didn’t take long for it to disappear from the table.

I hate to admit it but for years, when I was hungry for chicken pot pie, I would pick up one of those small frozen versions from the supermarket rather than take the time to bake one from scratch.

I guess you could say that I must have sent my tastebuds on a short vacation when I opted for the store-bought pies. They are definitely not as flavorful and fresh tasting as the homemade version.

The first time I made a “from scratch” chicken pot pie, I started with the basic white sauce lightly flavored with sage. I used the pastry type crust similar to the one I use for cobbler. It was good, but still needed some work.

Later, I decided to make another chicken pot pie and use a “stir-and-pour” crust. As I often do, I made a few more changes. Instead of the usual filling, I chose to add some fresh asparagus, red bell pepper and sweet onions (Vidalia, when in season).

I used an Italian herb-seasoned chicken broth and cream of chicken and mushroom soup, which was a great flavor combination. Wouldn’t you know it? When I wanted to make another pot pie, I could not find the seasoned chicken broth. My remedy is to use regular chicken broth and a can of cream of chicken with herbs. If you can’t find this soup, simply use the combined chicken and mushroom soup instead.

Although this is not traditional, I think you will like the new blend of flavors. If you prefer the more traditional taste, leave out the asparagus, red peppers and onions. As a substitute for these, you can use peas, carrots and potatoes. It would probably be best to cook the carrots and potatoes until for tender before adding them to the filling. The green peas (frozen or canned) can be stirred in at the same time.

Chicken and Asparagus Pot Pie

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup tender fresh asparagus (cut in 1-inch pieces)
⅔ cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
⅔ cup coarsely chopped sweet onions (Vidalia, if available)
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken with herbs soup
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
1 cup self-rising flour
½ cup melted butter
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an oblong casserole dish (about 8x13x2 inch) or pan of approximate size. Heat butter and oil in heavy skillet. Add asparagus, red bell peppers, and onions. Saute until tender crisp. Remove from pan and pour into a large bowl. Add chicken, soup, and broth. Mix well and pour into prepared dish or pan. Combine the flour, ½ cup melted butter, and milk. Whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the chicken mixture. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is delicately browned.
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The Gourmet Touch: When did meat pies go out of style? by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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