It’s practically obligatory on social media these days to post something about Pi day. Usually Pi. And since I’m no mathematician, you won’t see any numerical ramblings here. Just pie.
If you know anything from my Instagram the last couple days, you know the kids and I have been sick and that feeding them and me has been a challenge. We haven’t been eating healthy and we haven’t been eating much. So I wasn’t in the mood to make my usual pie day celebratory pie, coconut cream pie. (Disappointed “awwwws”) Don’t worry. That day will come.
No, today I made chicken pot pie. A few facts to know before you take that at face value.
1. I hate chicken pot pie. The vegetables all cook at different rates so you have crunchy carrots, mealy potatoes and a sickly grey mess of what used to be peas swimming in the flavorless gravy and stringy chicken.
2. I’m terrified of pie crusts. Bring on the strange French sauces and three-day-ferment artisan loaves. But pie crusts make me want to hide under my bed. I’m just a chronic dough-overworker, purveyor of crusts that you could make shoes out of.
3. I forgot that recipes exist. If you hate a dish, you probably don’t make it often or well. You should use a recipe.
This pie didn’t break any molds or fix any errors. I made a milk based gravy that mysteriously disappeared in the pie. We cut in and there was some clear chicken juice in the bottom but no gravy at all. It just… vanished. 👻
The vegetables did okay. I parcooked the carrots, and they were about right. The potatoes were just done and the peas were… army green. Not ideal. I also added sweet potato because it is delicious. The chicken was good.
Best of all, the pie crust was GLORIOUS. I used lard only and barley worked the dough. It cracked and split but my recipe made so much – it was only supposed to be a single crust for crying out loud – that I just rolled until the smooth middle part was plenty big for my dish. There was no bottom crust. The scraps got turned into admittedly much tougher cinnamon sticks.
This dish has one major plus. Everything is in one dish. Tons of colorful vegetables, lean protein, and just enough fatty, flaky, carbs in each serving to make it a real meal. And the kids loved in. The Bean is a vegetable fanatic actually and Fitz is coming around. Plus the delight of a four year old when he hears we are having pie for dinner is unmatched.
Next time I’ll use a recipe so that maybe there will be some gravy inside the pie. And maybe the peas won’t be killed many times over.