Come and Get it: Easy Chicken Pot Pie
“Hey, Mom! What’s for dinner?” –Every kid ever born.
Let’s face it: sometimes, even though we know we should be grateful for food to prepare, we tire of cooking. We’ve made the same old meals for thirty years and nothing sounds good. Yes, we should be ashamed of ourselves for feeling this way, but there it is. Surely there are times when Amish mothers, like English mothers, wonder how they went from being carefree girls to short-order cooks in the blink of an eye.
On those nights, the search begins for a recipe that everyone will like. The recipe should be easy to make with no exotic ingredients—comfort food would be ideal, as a matter of fact. And let’s find something inexpensive while we’re at it. Is that too much to ask?
I collect those spiral-bound cookbooks that churches are known for, but I also have one that’s called Homemade Goodies: Treasured Recipes from the Keim Family. I bought it after I met an Amish lady, the one who inspired my Amish novel The Bargain. Because I was concerned about Rachel, I contacted Joe Keim, a former Amishman who with his wife Esther founded Mission to Amish People, an organization which exists to disciple and aid ex-Amish. Joe patiently answered my questions. I asked how I could help their ministry and he said I could buy their cookbook, filled with Esther’s recipes and those she remembered fondly from growing up in an Amish family. So I did!
When I got into one of my cooking funks the other day, I pulled out Homemade Goodies, leaned my chin on my hand, and flipped through the pages. The weather had turned chilly after a sweet stretch of Indian summer, so Easy Chicken Pot Pie sounded wonderful, and yes, the ingredients were pretty simple, especially since I’d already frozen plenty of leftover cooked chicken. Very pleased with myself, I added some ingredients to my shopping list and headed out. Here’s the recipe!
Quick Chicken Pot Pie
Two 16 oz. cans mixed vegetables (drained)
Two to three cups shredded chicken (or turkey)
One 10 ¾ oz. can chicken broth
One 10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup
Two cups Bisquick baking mix
Two cups milk (2% worked fine)
Mix vegetables, broth, and soup together. Stir in shredded chicken and put in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Combine Bisquick and milk (will be a runny batter rather than a dough). Pour by tablespoons on top of casserole until covered evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until crust is light brown. Serves 5-6.
To keep the cost down, I used store brands of the mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup, and bonus: the store brand mixed vegetables included diced potatoes, which I really like in a chicken pot pie. I didn’t find the right size chicken broth, so I just measured broth from a larger can into the empty cream of chicken soup can. Bisquick is not a staple in my kitchen, so I bought the smaller box.
I find that Amish recipes are very “Surely everybody knows how to cook this!” when it comes to directions, so here are a few of my own helpful hints. Ever since a casserole dish of frozen leftover lasagna exploded in my oven, I place casserole dishes on a cookie sheet before baking. I’m never picking shards of glass out of my oven again. As for my leftover cooked chicken, it included both grilled chicken and chicken roasted in the slow cooker. Once the meat was in the pot pie, we couldn’t tell the difference.
This recipe goes together very easily. I didn’t shred the chicken, just cubed it. When it came time to mix up the crust, I measured out the Bisquick and two percent milk. As I mixed, I thought I’d made a mistake. I was expecting biscuit dough, but what I got was a very runny batter. I read the directions again; I’d measured correctly. I spooned the batter over as directed and finally decided that this batter was supposed to be runny and spooning it on kept it from pouring straight to the bottom.
While this chicken pot pie was baking, it smelled delicious. I decided to keep side dishes simple with applesauce and a green salad, so I didn’t have too much to prepare while I waited. An hour later, the pot pie was beautifully golden brown, and oh MY! Was it ever delicious! We loved it. The crust was solid, browned nicely, and it was easy to serve. I highly recommend the recipe and the cookbook.
What’s that? You’re worried about calories? Well, get out there and do some chores like the Amish, or take a walk. It’s a beautiful time of year.
Want more of my Amish recipes? Get three in my new novel, The Bachelor (Plain City Peace Book Two), available October 27 through your favorite bookseller.