Today is the Great American Pot Pie Day. Ask my husband and he will tell you emphatically that a true Pot Pie is made with both a bottom and top crust. It’s the way he grew up. We didn’t eat much in the way of pot pies except an occasional Swanson’s TV Dinner Pot Pie. Back then, I wasn’t a fan of cooked carrots or the texture of frost-bitten peas, so I ate the top crust, then picked out all the vegetables before eating what was left.
While Americans like to think of Pot Pies as the All American Supper, it is believed that Pot Pies may have their origins in Greece by way of Egypt sometime around 1400 BC, and then spread with the Romans. Whatever the origins, the fillings themselves have evolved. In America during the 19th century, people became enamored by a pie that featured robins. Yeah, robins. Today the more popular meats are beef or chicken. Frankly, I’m glad. I don’t think I could warm up to the idea of eating a robin. I know, I’m the girl that will eat snails and fish eggs and roasted quails, but I draw the line on robins.
My personal favorite pastry for a pot pie is puff pastry. I like the layers of delicate flaky goodness all puffed up and pretty. Don’t you?
Flaky Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
3/4 lb boneless Chicken Breasts
1 large White Onion
1 cup Baby Carrots
3/4 cup frozen Sweet Peas
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 jar (12 oz) Chicken Gravy
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme Leaves
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Egg, beaten
Thyme Sprigs for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Thaw puff pastry according to package direction. On lightly floured surface, unroll puff pastry. With rolling pin, roll out into 11-inch square. Cut off corners to make an 11-inch round. Cut vent slits in several places in pastry; set aside.
Cut chicken breast into 1/2-inch pieces, set aside. Dice onion and carrots, set aside. Rinse peas under cold water, drain and set aside.
In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink in center. Add onion and carrots; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in peas.
In medium bowl, whisk sour cream gravy, cornstarch, thyme and pepper together until well blended. Stir into chicken mixture in skillet. Spoon into 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Place pastry over filling allowing to hang over edge.
Bake 20 minutes. Brush crust with beaten egg. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with thyme sprigs for a nice presentation.