Why is it called Chicken Pot Pie?


Just one of those culinary questions I have.  I mean why is it called POT pie?  It’s a “pie”.  Is it because it is made IN a pot? In that case shouldn’t most things have the term “pot” in the description? It confounds me.  These are the things that keep me up at night.

I know I know….I need a life.

But if I had a social life and other things to occupy my brain other than food and cooking, my family wouldn’t be eating half as well.  That and Mama Sis wouldn’t be complaining she has put on weight – like 2 or 3 pounds – get over it! (she has always been the “skinny” sister.)

So I did what any mildly culinary obsessed person would do.  Googled it.

According to Wikipedia and a site called Piesbaking I discovered the following:

The Chicken Pot Pie originated from Greece. They took cooked meats and placed them in open pastry shells that were called “Artocreas”. It was the Romans who added the top crust making Chicken Pot Pie into an actual pie.

How did the Chicken Pot Pie get the name or any Pot Pie for that matter?

The Pot Pies got their name from England. The English formed a pie in what was called a coffin which was done by molding the pastry along the bottom of a pie pan or a pot. The English also made small pastries with meat in them and they surprise surprise called them “pastries”

So there you go.  My curiosity satisfied I set out to make my first Chicken Pot Pie and make it Gluten Free.

Now here’s the thing, this is not a typical Italian household dish.  Not even close, so I can’t even remember the first time I had one.  I have probably only had Chicken Pot Pie a few times in my life, so I have no idea what inspired me to look for the recipe in my copy of The Joy Of Cooking. Possibly because we had a large amount of leftover roast chicken. Maybe because I like a challenge.  It could also be that I had a coupon for Pillsbury Gluten Free Pie and Pastry Dough, and once purchased I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it for a test run.

It could also be that I have lost my mind, but that’s a whole different matter entirely.

So I set out to make it.  I looked at the recipe in the JOC, checked out a few on Pinterest and discovered that there are MANY recipes out there all claiming to be “classic”.  I also posted my intent on Zia’s Kitchen Facebook Page  and got and followed advice from fan Melanie M.

So, armed with basic idea behind it, I  went into the kitchen and decided to wing it.  Pardon the pun.  The results?  Read on.



Ingredients:  Organic Girl Baby Spinach, Gluten Free Flour from King Arthur, Swanson Chicken Broth (reduced sodium), Kendall Jackson Chardonnay (It’s what I had open in the fridge so I poured myself a glass AND used it in the sauce), Fresh Mushrooms, Organic Sweet Onion and Garlic, A frozen medley of vegetables (Peas, Corn, Carrots and Green Beans)

Not pictured but added:  Fresh Rosemary from Nonna’s porch garden, Thyme, S&P and Butter.
Sorry to Facebook Fan Melanie G (funny a Melanie from HS and a Melanie from college made comments) anyway I told you it was dairy free but forgot about the butter.


First up, the dough.  I let it sit out to get it room temperature then split it in 2 pieces the equalled approximately 2/3 for the bottom and 1/3 for the top.  I kneaded it a bit first, and while it is pliable and not sticky – a PLUS.  It crumbled constantly – a minor pain in the ass.

Using my old school traditional rolling-pin that was Great Nonna’s, I rolled the bottom one out between 2 pieces of wax paper on top of a flexible cutting sheet.


Ok, looking good so far. Then using the standard “hold dish over rolled out crust and then pick up all and flip” method……


Huh.  Well, disappointing but too terrible. Truth be told I never baked that much until the gluten allergy diagnosis so I can’t really compare my skills at working with regular vs. gluten-free dough. It very well may have come out the same. (Probably)


While the dough falls apart if you look at it funny, it is also extremely pliable, so after a little “pie crust triage” if you will, this is what I came up with.  Not pretty, but it’s not a beauty contest right? Onward we go.

Again, remember I am not following any particular recipe, just making it up as I go.


First up I minced half of the onion, 4 cloves of garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary and chopped up 4 mushrooms.  Why only 4? Well because they were large.  Like super ginormous on steroids kind of large.  I decided to sauté these all together in a pan with a bit of butter.


Meanwhile in a deep sauté pan I melted half a stick of butter.


To this I added about 1/3 cup of flour and whisked to make a roux, it was rather thick.  I then added the chicken broth a little at a time and whisked all of the lumps out before adding more, this took about 5 times and a good amount of whisking to achieve:


I am sure there is a “proper procedure” to do this that is different than mine, but it worked out.  I then added the shredded/chopped chicken leftovers, majority of it white meat. I also added about 1/2 cup white wine at this point and kept stirring.


Some Thyme, Salt and Pepper went in with the wine and I stirred until evenly mixed.


Next up was about a cup of the frozen mixed veggies that I let thaw before hand.


I then added the Mushroom, onion, garlic, rosemary mixture, and finally topped it off with about 2 plus cups of the Organic Girl Baby Spinach.


I stirred this around over medium heat until all of the spinach was incorporated into the mix.  I used my spoon to taste and make sure the flavor was there and then it was time to add the filling to the pie.


Ok.  Not bad.  I made a little too much – that can happen when you aren’t following a recipe and just throwing stuff together – so I scooped about a ladle-full out of the pie and into a bowl, which I served the kids while it was baking.  Note: don’t start this whole project with just a little over an hour until dinner time!  


Ok, time to put the top on.  I rolled the remaining dough out (between wax paper again) and put it on.  It didn’t go perfectly, but it wasn’t to bad.  I fixed it up and put it in the oven.


The Joy Of Cooking recipe called for 40 mins in a 400 degree oven.  I should have read the baking instructions on the dough container before I took it out to recycle, it may have been different.  After about 20 mins I peaked in and noticed it was browning quite a bit, on one side (damn oven) so I rotated it, and turned the oven down to 375°. After another 10 minutes it looked very done, and not wanting to burn my first Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie, I took it out.


The top separated from the sides, but other than that it looked decent, and smelled heavenly.

As I mentioned, the kids were getting cranky and tired so I had to feed them the filling I had siphoned off before putting the pastry top on.  Ladybug ate it all going “mmmmm mmmmm” the whole time.  Her new favorite thing while eating.  Littledude?  Well it was an over-tired night and it took a fair amount of cajoling to even get him to sit and some goofy antics from Zia to get him to try it.  He took a spoon, dipped it in, touched his tongue to it for a micro second and pushed it away.  I’m not taking it personally – he’s just moody and unpredictable at dinner time these days.

While watching our nighttime / before bed “Curious George” episodes I finally cut myself a piece and well…..I have heard it’s bad form to say yum about your own cooking but YUM!  Mama Sis had it when she got home and said the same.  This was pretty awesome!

Sis and I agree, we were pleasantly surprised at the Pillsbury Gluten Free Pie and Pastry Dough crust.  It was flaky and chewy and simply perfect for this dish.  I am not sure if what it will be like in a sweet pie like apple or pumpkin though.  I guess that means I have to bake a pie now.

Yeah, cause that will suck.


Nom Nom


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