Food Memories – Chicken Pot Pie

Today’s Food Memory comes from fellow Big Summer Potluck attendee Jennifer of Bread and Putter.  I had no way of knowing at the time that Jennifer and I would become bff’s on Twitter (@breadandputter).  Don’t tell The Mistah but I think she knows more about me via my twittering than he does after 6 years of marriage.  Is that bad?

Here’s a little of what Jennifer has to say on her About page:

My early cooking adventures were kind of pathetic.  I once cooked a hot dog in a frying pan that was burned on the outside and still frozen in the middle.  I could always bake – I can follow instructions pretty darn well, but cooking always seemed a little more loosey-goosey. There are things about cooking apparently you are just supposed to know instinctively or something, and I didn’t.

Yeah, I can totally understand that.  Maybe she and I are kindred kitchen spirits.

If you still need another reason to skip on over to Bread and Putter and check out what’s going on in Jennifer’s kitchen, I give you this:

I really love cheese and bacon. I hate coffee, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, beets and anything that leaves orange cheese powder on my fingertips. Dark chocolate is the best chocolate but milk chocolate is good too if there’s peanut butter in it.  There’s nothing quite like hot crusty bread fresh out of the oven with some good butter on it.

I’m going to pretend that she didn’t include coffee, brussel sprouts, beets, and cheetos on her list of dont’s.

Chicken Pot Pie

For our second date, my now husband invited me to his house for dinner. I didn’t know what to expect.  I arrived with a bottle of wine in hand but he didn’t have any wine glasses. So, we drank it out of regular glasses but in retrospect, who was I to judge? It was white zinfandel.

When it was time for dinner, I was impressed when his creation came out of the oven – a homemade chicken pot pie! This guy was racking up points fast! For our first date, he had invited me to a play.  Classy, right?  And then he bakes up a pie for me. What wasn’t to like? When he cut open the pie and served me a slice, my excitement waned a bit. In addition to the chicken and gravy, there was a lot of broccoli in the pie. At the time, I really was not a broccoli fan.  And all I could taste in that pie was broccoli. But, I was gracious and I ate up my whole serving and I complimented him on that pie.

I would later learn that the pie dough was from a box and the gravy was from a can, but I still give him lots of credit for that pie.  There was still a lot of measuring, preparation and assembly involved. As the years passed and I confessed my non-love of broccoli, the pie took on other incarnations with carrots and peas replacing the wretched broccoli.

And then a funny thing happened. He was a single father and was doing his best to put food on the table for his two daughters and trying to set a good example. So, in turn, when I was dining with them, I tried to set a good example and not be fussy and eat what I was served. And over time, my palate grew in an unexpected way.  I learned to like, if not tolerate, just about everything. Including broccoli! These days we even grow broccoli, in our garden at our home together.

Here is his original chicken pot pie recipe. These days I usually make my own crust and my own gravy if I am making it, but I promise, it is still pretty darn good with the boxes and the cans.  And if you make it for someone else with love, isn’t that what really counts?

B&P Note: I’ve transcribed this exactly as written. It amuses me.

2 boxes –total of 4 Pillsbury or whatever pre-made pie crusts. Take out 15 mins before using

2 ¼ + lbs boneless breast of chicken, trim crap off – cut up, refrigerate

2 medium potatoes diced

1 bunch + broccoli crowns, trimmed of most of stem

3 or 4 carrots cut up diced


Boil veggies till soft (nothing falling apart.) Strain.

Open 2 cans Franco-American chicken gravy – cook till hot.

While cooking gravy, prepare two pie shells in pans.

Throw in chicken & veggies into hot gravy. Mix. Fill pies. Cover pies with remaining pie crusts. Baste with butter. Slit pie crust tops to vent heat before putting in oven. Cook covered in preheated 425 degree oven 20 mins. Remove foil cover & cook 25 mins more. Remove & let sit a minute before cutting.

Mr. Bread and Putter’s Chicken Pot Pie

BAH Note: I have to admit that I didn’t exactly recreate the original incarnation of Mr. B&P’s chicken pot pie. I was short on supplies and had a pie crust that was well past its prime.  My loosey-goosey version went something like this:

  • 1 rolled pie crust (premade)
  • 1 jar chicken gravy
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • frozen peas and carrots
  • diced rotisserie chicken (without the skin)

Heat oven to temperature called for on the back of the box of pie crust.

Combine gravy and cornstarch in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the gravy has thickened.  Add the peas, carrots, and chicken and stir to combine.

Transfer the filling to a 9 inch pie plate.  Top with the pie crust, crimping the edges as you go.  Cut four small slits in the top of the dough for steam to escape.  Place on a sheet pan and bake until the filling is bubbly and the top has browned.

If the edges of the crust are browning too fast, cover them with a ring of aluminum foil.

{printable recipe}

29 thoughts on “Food Memories – Chicken Pot Pie

  1. Oh wow, I almost forgot about this!!! Thanks for letting me guest here and what a nice write up. I’m so glad we met at BSP – another great food memory for the ages!!!

    1. Ali, wasn’t the whole stream of consciousness aspect of his recipe a riot? Not the easiest thing to work from but still quite entertaining.

  2. “I really love cheese and bacon.” Me too, honey, me too. I totally made out with a bacon, egg and cheese bagel at breakfast yesterday. And Wendipants, I made my bacon in the oven on a parchment lined baking sheet. It was glorious because 1) I didn’t have to wipe down the stove, 2) I didn’t have to wash a dish and 3) I didn’t ruin another shirt with hot jumping grease!

    1. Brooke, I’m convinced that part of my requirements for being “good people” includes an unadulterated love of cheese and bacon.

      Welcome to the world of oven cooked bacon my friend. It may prove to be our downfall, but at least we’ll be undone by gloriously cooked pork product.

  3. So, we drank it out of regular glasses but in retrospect, who was I to judge? It was white zinfandel.

    BAM. best line.

    any man who attempts to cook at all is a fine man. so very glad she snagged him, he sounds like a keeper.

    1. Heh. I was 25 at the time. I thought the white zin was sophisticated.

      And he’s totally a keeper.

  4. How many times did you have to try the broccoli before you liked it? I’m wondering if your experience backs up the try-a-food-10-times-to-like-it theory. And I think it’s nice that you’re future husband made chicken pot pie for you on the first date, even if he didn’t make every piece of the pie. It sounds delicious either way!

    1. Hmmm. That’s a good question – it’s probably at least 10 times anyway! I know I started slow with raw broccoli, and then covered in cheese in a casserole. I do know that the freshest broccoli made a huge difference. I’m glad you enjoyed the story! 🙂

  5. Seems like I should remember this food memory (I’m Jen’s sister) but I don’t. Did you tell this story? The recipe is wicked funny and definitely fitting of Mr. B&P!

    1. I don’t know – you were already long married and probably not hearing every detail of my dating life at the time. 🙂

    2. Karma, I hope that Mr. B&P has honed his kitchen skills with Jennifer’s help. Because this pot pie may have been endearing on the first date but not after years of marriage.

      1. Honestly, Mr B&P has become so spoiled that he has left the kitchen all together and has probably lost most kitchen skills he ever had.

  6. How sweet a story! and to be connected to comfort food at that!

    I haven’t been eating must have some kind of bug or something. I wound up in the ER friday night with nausea and my spouse would not leave. he slept on the floor of my cubicle until 8am when i was admitted! this kind of devotion is rare but I see it in her spouse. will try this recipe as soon as they let me have real food again!

    1. Emily, I hate being alone in the hospital. Big bonus points to your husband for staying with you. Get well soon so you can try this humble comfort food.

  7. Holy hubcaps, YUM! This is a gorgeous food memory. 🙂 LOL … Broccoli is gross, I used to stuff the stuff behind my dad’s SUPER expensive recliner chair, hehe, he wasn’t to happy when he found it.

    1. Anna, it sounds like you haven’t made your peace with broccoli. And that’s ok. Bonus points for your creative use of furniture to dispose of vegetables.

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