Easy As Pie!


Comfort Food.

Think back to when you were growing up.  What was that one meal your mom made, that you just couldn’t get enough of?

I know one of my favorites was my mom’s meatloaf, especially the next day when it magically appeared in my lunchbag! I loved it, especially on sourdough bread. Oh Yum! That still is a definite favorite, although mom doesn’t have a recipe, she says. She just throws together “whatever” is around and it somehow always tastes really good.

But I digress. This isn’t about meatloaf. It’s about comfort food. Namely, the one meal that guarantees my 20-year old son’s presence at my house for dinner.

Tyler has a most definite favorite: Chicken Pie.

Not ChickenPot” Pie. Just Chicken Pie.
This recipe is very easy, uses plain, simple ingredients,  and can be assembled in a matter of about 15 minutes before it’s ready to pop into the oven =0)

Easy Chicken Pie

1 box Pillsbury Pie Crust Dough (see photo), set on counter 15 minutes before starting
2 bunches green onions (or 1 if you don’t love them as much as my son)
1 Tbsp. butter (for green onions)
1 block Neufchâtel cheese (cream cheese)

1½ Tbsp. butter (to mix with cream cheese)
Leftover chicken (or turkey), light or dark meat – about the equivalent of 3 breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 Tbsp. Milk
1 pound (½ bag) frozen cubed potatoes
½ bag frozen peas
Salt & Pepper to taste

→ Preheat the oven to 350°

Step 1: The Ingredients

Step 2: The Sauté

Use kitchen scissors to cut the green onions into a small bowl. Add the butter, and microwave for about 1½-2 minutes till done.
Set aside.

This is the quickest way to sauté green onions.

Step 3: The Dough

Take one pie dough out of the package. Carefully unroll it, and place into a 9″ pie pan.
I prefer a clear Pyrex-type dish.
If the dough doesn’t reach the edges well, or if you only have a 10″ dish, just lay the dough on a cutting board and carefully roll the dough out with a rolling pin, from the center toward the edges just a bit, to increase the size by an inch. Once it’s in the pie pan, smooth the bottom and edges with your fingers. A tiny roller will help get the dough into the tight spots =0)

Using a small roller helps get the dough into every little corner and tight space!

Step 4: The Filling

In a large glass bowl, microwave together the cream cheese and butter for about 30-60 seconds, or till soft. Stir together. Add green onions, chicken, 2 Tbsp. of the milk, potatoes, and peas. Stir again, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a Tbsp. more milk if the filling is too difficult to stir…. but remember: it needs to be pretty thick to hold it’s shape.

If you soften the cream cheese and butter in the microwave first, your job of stirring them together will be much easier!

Step 5: The Pour

Pour the filling into the prepared bottom pie crust, and smooth out/compress with a spatula.

Step 6: The Close

Moisten the bottom crust with a little water on your fingers. Place the top crust over the bottom, and crimp the edges.
I usually tuck the edges under, after crimping.

Seal the top to the bottom, crimp, and tuck under.

Step 7: The Vent

Gently poke holes in the top crust. My son would always look forward to poking the holes with a fork, so I’ve continued the tradition… only now my assistant is a monkey….

Sockmonkeys are a great help, when it comes to venting a pie

Step 8: Cook & Plate

Bake the pie for approximately 45-60 minutes, or till crust is golden.

Sorry, Tyler dug into his before I could take the picture!

The Topping:

Just as there are many different sets of taste buds, there are equally as many choices of toppings for this pie, and of course, each member of my family has their own favorite:
◊◊◊ Apple Sauce ◊◊◊
◊◊◊ Sour Cream ◊◊◊
◊◊◊ Red or Green Hot Sauce ◊◊◊
◊◊◊ Barbeque Sauce ◊◊◊
◊◊◊ Cranberry Sauce ◊◊◊

Monkey Notes:

It’s really easy to do a double recipe for the filling.
If you choose to do so, pour the first part into the pie shell.
Put the second half into a foodsaver bag and seal.
The filling freezes very well, and all you have to do is take it out of the freezer the night before you want to cook it.
An hour before dinner, just prepare the bottom pie shell, pour in the filling, top it with the second pie shell, and bake. (If you have extra time, you may want to put it out on the counter for a bit, just to take the chill off first).
In any sense…how easy is that?!

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera…

You can add or subtract any vegs from this recipe. Sorry, I just used math terms, and if you’ve read my waffle blog, you’ll know I’m not a fan of all that.
In any sense, if you can’t stand peas, besides making me wonder what happened in your childhood for you to not love those cute little round green veggies, I’d suggest you add corn kernels, semi-cooked carrot cubes, or even sliced mushrooms. Really, this recipe is your basic starter model. What you do with it, is your own creation =0)
…oh, that’s good. I ought to write that one down.

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