Chicken Pot Pie with Herbed Potato Crust

Sometimes eight-year-olds apparently do not want to go to church. “There is nothing interesting there,” claimed a certain 8-year-old this afternoon. Apparently such a concept made her very, very angry.

When dealing with an angry eight-year-old it’s unacceptable to kiss her neck or ask if you can braid her hair. She will clench her teeth and thrash her head and kick you twice in the shins. Adorable.

What you can do, however, is to invite said child to the kitchen countertop, give her a mallet, and encourage her to mash a bowl full of potatoes to her hearts content. Even if the potatoes get kind of all over the countertop. Even if the potatoes become pureed in three minutes flat.  Even if the eight-year-old begins to giggle herself silly and tell you how much she loves Sunday’s.

When the idea for tonight’s Pot Pie was conjured, I’d imagined up perfectly placed swirls of mashed potatoes.  There were big plans for piping and fashionable nonsense.

Such plans were derailed entirely when I saw that red-faced little munchkin of mine tossing a fit.  How dare I consider shooing her off for a few minutes while I pulled together a grand family dinner? Silly cat.  I sometimes forget that it’s not all about me.

Once my angry eight-year-old had smashed the heart and soul from six potatoes, I invited her to toss in fresh chives, thyme, a sprinkling of dill. “Oh, mom. This is the BEST thing EVER!” she squealed through finger-licked heaps of herby goodness.  Her frustration had melted right into those hot potatoes, pride for her personal contribution to the task swirled around the air.  I believe in the power of mashing potatoes.

Abandoning the expectation of perfection, we dug our hands into a bowl of emerald-peppered snow and slathered unseemly amounts of mashy goodness atop a creamy chicken filling.  I planted a kiss on the nape of the eight-year-olds neck. She asked me if I’d braid her hair when we were finished cooking dinner. And to think, I’d almost just tried to make this meal by myself.

Lest you think I’ve signed on to be spokesperson for the Chicken Pot Pie Miracle Campaign, I’ll share only two stories today about its life-altering splendor.

My husband has a high-school friend (Hi! Lovely Stacey!) who once asked him how he stays so thin.  An oddity, you might imagine, considering his daily cohabitation with decadent Cheeky Kitchen eats.  The truth? He really doesn’t eat much of what I cook. Nosirree. That man of mine is not a born foodie. He’d take a post-run bottle of Gatorade and a mid-afternoon Chipotle burrito over half of the crazy flavors I cook up.  It’s okay. After a hundred years of marriage, one learns to let go of the little things.  Plus, that guy of mine has the best man-legs ever, so I can forgive his not wanting to eat Beet Soup.  Hot legs over eating soup, I’ve always said that.

Anyhow, it’s important you know this background to understand why today, when he licked his plate clean then handed it back to me across the dinner table, declaring it “absolutely incredible,” and asking for “more” was a moment to be digitally captured for always.

A recipe that disciplines naughty children AND makes your husband even cuter than ever?  I try not to promise you the world, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

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Chicken & Asparagus Pot Pie with Herbed Potato Crust

This recipe was born from the depths of an over-stocked, aging fridge. A lot of the ingredients are just pantry and freezer staples kept on hand for emergency eats: frozen peas and corn, real bacon bits, whole wheat pie crust (I LOVE the Wholly Wholesome brand) make this a pretty quick recipe to pull together. About five times better than quick, It's splendidly delicious. If you don't have fresh herbs, you can most certainly use dried ones, but the fresh herbs really make the difference in flavor.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
1 small clove garlic, chopped
4 ounces real bacon bits
2 cups frozen peas and carrots blend
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 whole wheat pie crust
6 russet potatoes, peeled & boiled until tender
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
a bunch of fresh dill, thyme, and chives
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, brown chicken with onion and garlic. Stir in the bacon bits, peas and carrots. Cook just until the peas and carrots aren't frozen, about 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, cornstarch and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into the skillet and stir constantly until it begins to thicken. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Add the asparagus, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly while baking the pie crust..

Place the whole wheat pie crust into the oven and back for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges turn a light, golden brown. Remove and allow to cool slightly before filling with chicken mixture.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, and egg. Toss in a handful of fresh chopped chives, a good amount of fresh or dried dill (we added about 1/2 tablespoon of dried dill and it was perfect), several pinches of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture over the chicken mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are golden brown at the peaks. Enjoy!

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26 Responses to “Chicken Pot Pie with Herbed Potato Crust”

  1. 1

    texana on April 11, 2011 at 5:54 am Reply

    1/4 teaspoon of cream cheese? Does that small amount really make any difference in the recipe?

    • Brooke replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

      Nice catch, Texana! That was a mis-type on my part. Fixed now!

  2. 2

    Meghan on April 11, 2011 at 6:56 am Reply

    I love pot pies! I cant wait to try this out!

  3. 3

    Shawnda on April 11, 2011 at 7:11 am Reply

    Obliterating potatoes is a great stress reliever, I bet! And the potatoes are a great twist.

  4. 4

    mangiabella on April 11, 2011 at 11:58 am Reply

    my hubs doesn’t have the widest palette either LOL, certainly not who I turn to for a good opinion on a new foodie creation :) but very so often he loves what I serve him and asks for more and it always makes me squeal in delight – so I’m totally with you on this one haha.

    This looks so sensational!

  5. 5

    Katrina on April 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Cool recipe! The whipped potatoes on top are super creative. Yum!

  6. 6

    Jennifer (Savor) on April 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm Reply

    My husband has tree-trunk legs. I swear. They could crush a tank. I love em’

  7. 7

    Maria on April 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Love the herbed potato crust!

  8. 8

    Carrie on April 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm Reply

    This pie is so gorgeous! And I have a 7 year old who could have benefitted from beating the Hades out of some potatoes the other day. :)

    • Brooke replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

      Laughing out loud. We should all get to beat the Hades out of potatoes every oncein a while. ;)

  9. 9

    April on April 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm Reply

    mmmmmmmm sounds amazing! I definitely have to try this!

  10. 10

    Amy Rene on April 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm Reply

    Wow. That’s just perfect in so many ways! Can’t wait to break this out for my guy… it’s the combo of his 2 favorite things: shepherd’s pie and chicken pot pie (can you guess what his favorite dessert is?)

  11. 11

    cailen on April 15, 2011 at 9:26 am Reply

    ummm…wow! that looks sooooo yummy! i love hearty meals like that : )

  12. 12

    Lanell on April 17, 2011 at 8:16 am Reply

    I love the story just as much as I love looking at the delicious pot pie. I think my family would really like this for dinner. Thanks for posting.

  13. 13

    Angela on April 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm Reply

    1/4 Cup Cream Cheese? It said in an above comment that it was fixed, but it still reads 1/4 teaspoon on my computer and I’m guessing you ment 1/4 Cup? :) Making it tonight and we’ll see if I guess right. :)

  14. 14

    Ivonne Loving on April 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Hi! I included this post in this weeks from my reader round-up. Loved the post and thought it would be super useful to my friends and readers. I have been including your recipes in my home menus since I stumbled upon your blog!

  15. 15

    Heather Davis on May 11, 2011 at 7:03 am Reply

    Wow! That looks seriously scrumptious. Beautiful piped potatoes. Glad it worked wonders on your kids and hubby too!

  16. 16

    Alzbeta on May 16, 2011 at 1:02 am Reply

    I made this today and… yum! I had to make a few changes simply because of what we had on hand, but it was pretty close. It could have fed an army… which will be useful for when we have visitors :). Until then, my husband will have lovely lunches to take to work!

    • Brooke replied: — May 16th, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

      Good! I’m so glad it worked for you!

  17. 17

    Don Odiorne on July 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm Reply

    The recipe looks fantastic and I wish more cooks would consider how easy it is to top a casserole or savory pie with mashed or scalloped potatoes.

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  19. 18

    Eileen on January 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm Reply

    I am sure to make this myself, sans asparagus, I do however feel smashing garlic to be an incredible stress reliever, though, I’m not about to hand my cleaver over to my 13 year old son and pass that task up myself, a budding chef he is, potatoes may be just the thing!

    • Brooke replied: — January 29th, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

      LOL! This is a splendid stress option. You totally have to copyright it!

  20. 19

    Eileen on January 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm Reply

    I should. Cleaving garlic! A million and one applications, right up there with Duct tape and white vinegar!

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