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zpzjessica

Favorite ready-made chicken pot pie

26 posts in this topic

I am a sucker for a good chicken pot pie. It' a comfort food for me. As a kid, my brothers and I ate Mrs. Budd's - in the yellow box with the cellophane window so you could see the pie inside. It brings back good childhood memories. And they recently began carrying Mrs. Budd's in the grocery store near my apartment, so yes - I'm very happy :smile:

I was just wondering if anyone else had any favorite types or brands of pot pies? Or if you have your own recipes for making them?

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recipe: poach a stewing hen, chunk off the meat. make a veloute sauce with the reduced stock and wine. add maybe lardons, definitely tiny glazed onions and sauteed mushrooms. i don't go the pea-and-carrot route. herb up the sauce. (chicken fricassee works too). top with a herbed biscuit crust (all in one piece). good stuff.


Edited by -sheila mooney (log)

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Well...that's not EXACTLY ready-to-eat... ;)

I've never been crazy about pot pies because of the whole "crust factor" - the same reason I don't like pop tarts. When I have eaten them, they were just Banquet or Swanson, back when they still had actual FOOD inside the crust.


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>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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I like Marie Callender's deep dish turkey pot pie. More dark meat. Good sauce. Easy to eat at work.

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"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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Ahh a great memory from my childhood, when they were on sale (Banquet or Swanson) my mom would stock up the freezer with beef and chicken pot pies. We would usually have them when my Dad was "cooking". I remember watching through the oven door as the little jets of steam would make the insides plop through the hole in the top.

Now, I usually make my own or buy Mrs Budds.

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Well, I "make my own," but it's strictly White Trash Cooking night. Filling: Meat picked from a rotisserie chicken, one large can cream of chicken soup, one regular can cream of mushroom soup, one package frozen peas and one of frozen carrots, some sliced mushrooms, some of the caramelized onions I always have on hand, some tarragon, salt and pepper. There's enough filling to make one to eat tonight (which now I probably will!) and one to freeze for later. Using store-bought crusts, of course. :laugh: Yes, lazy, lazy, lazy, but mighty yummy!

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I like Marie Calendars, but my favorites are made by a local restaurant that's been doing not much but chicken pot pies for 70 years.

My goal is to make pies as good as theirs by the end of the summer, and then figure out how to freeze them for future reference.

The first recipe I tried went too heavy on carrots and onions, making it much too sweet.

Of course, the end all may be pies that cost more than Maries, for insufficiently better flavor.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I sustained myself through high school on Swanson chicken pot pies. I was adamantly opposed at the time to homemade as Grandma made a beef & potato pot pie that was just horrendous. Tough crust, tough beef, nasty potatoes.

Now that I understand the goodness that can be a homemade pot pie... I make my own. My favorite cookbook on the subject is Beatrice Ojakangas' Pot Pies. :wub::wub::wub:


Edited by viva (log)

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Soon after we got our first microwave, when I was about 12 I had a brilliant idea :wacko:

If I could cut the top crust off the Swanson pot pie I could slide the pie into a bowl and nuke it while toasting the crust in the toater oven. It would certainly cook much faster that way...brilliant like I said

Except its really hard to take a 12 inch serrated/pointy knife and slide it under a frozen pie crust. Its also fairly difficult to wiggle the serrated knife point out of your palm.

:shock::blink:

I make them with puff pastry tops now

tracey


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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We do not get the Swanson brand here at all anymore. I grew up on it, and it was so successful they have sold out to many giant corporations. They were actually very good back in the 50's and 60's. They had real chicken then.

 

In my memory Swanson chicken pot pies has tasty gravy, good chicken chunks, peas, carrots and potatoes, all encased in a delicious, flaky crust.

 

I have tried Boston Market, Stouffers, Marie Calendars, and you know what? Banquet brand. 

 

The first three are bigger, more expensive, but all lack a key element from the Swansons of my childhood. Some lack peas, some lack carrots, some lack potatoes. Banquet has all three in a very tasty gravy in a lard crust. The "chicken" in the Banquet version is "mechanically separated" pretty disgusting, and you really don't want to look at as you are eating. The rest of the Banquet line is garbage.

 

Banquet chicken pot pies are garbage too. The "chicken" is an abomination. I do not look at, but I eat it to get the 12 grams of protein from the 350 calorie serving. The potatoes are overcooked mush, the carrots are undercooked or just rubbery from freezing, but the peas are spot on, as is the gravy and the lard crust.

 

This is what Serious Eats has to say about frozen chicken pot pies.

 

In order to prepare a frozen chicken pot pie to its admittedly limited best state, make sure you take a sharp knife and cut deeply through the top crust in several areas. I like to make a decorative pattern, but one may think that is gilding a, well ... you know. This step is important so the boiling gravy doesn't blow the top crust off and spill onto the baking pan. I like to put the pie in while preheating the oven. Frozen pot pies are one of the few things that benefit from doing that. You want the bottom crust cooked, right? I also take a couple of narrow foil strips and mold them around the rim of the crust. Otherwise it burns to just an inedible ring that you have to discard. 

 

It's all about the flaky lard crust, the tasty gravy and the peas to me.

 

I had one tonight, my guilty pleasure.

 

 


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I grew up on the Swanson's brand as well, because back then it was the only brand.

Now there are so many different ones and those that are so much better.

The best ones I've tried are Marie Callendar's chcken pies and the turkey pies.  I've had the pleasure of eating one prepared in her restaurant in Denver and it was wonderful.

I buy Shwan's now and they're pretty good too.  The biggest complaint I have against these type of pies is that the bottom crust always seems to be gummy.  So I just scoop it off and toss it into the disposer.

Oh gosh, I had forgotten about the Banquet brand, I think they were actually the original.  Quite awful, actually.


Edited by lindag (log)
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I like the Marie Calendars chicken pot pies and always have at least one in the freezer.  For those nights when I either don't know what I want for dinner, or by the time I decide what I want for dinner its too late to make it Marie Calendars  pot pies come in very handy.  Pop one in the oven, make a salad and dinner is ready.  However, in order to get a nice brown top crust, I preheat the oven well in advance and bake the pies the maximum amount of time.  Growing up we had the Swanson pot pies.  I also keep an Amy's vegetarian shepherds  pie in my freezer  for those times when you positively don't want to eat, but if you don't you're going to feel even lousier.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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I've never had a good pot pie. The crust doesn't do it for me. I'd just as soon have a bowl of really good stew, with a biscuit or two on the side. And I'm a little surprised nobody is marketing a combination like that.

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Trader Joe's has a couple of chicken pot pies.  There's this one and then there's this oneI've not had the first, but have enjoyed the second one a couple of times.  I plan to give the first one a try soon.  Pictures show that they both have peas ...


Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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its interesting that those of us of a certain age had the Swanson's CPP's

 

I certainly did in the 50's and early '60s

 

my mother saved the little aluminum pans , and cut a whole in the center and put our outdoor Christmas lights up with them.  one light / pan

 

of course.   was very dramatic.  she probably got the idea from Sunset magazine , only a few miles away. Maybe that's why we had the pies ?

 

O.o

 

Id love to know  , as a historical item , how much salt was added to these in the ' 50s      vs Industrial salt now days in prepared foods.

 

might have been just as bad back them     ....     CCP's were the only frozen prepared food we had.  Swanson's TV dinners never showed up

 

Illl  have to try the TJ's version.   thanks for the reminders .

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I haven't found a frozen chicken pot pie that tastes as good as what I had as a youngster, 50 or 60 years ago..  Not sure what changed, me, them, or both!

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51 minutes ago, rotuts said:

...my mother saved the little aluminum pans...

My mom saved them, as well. The pans became our "snicky snacks" pans...an evening after-dinner treat for us kids. I fondly recall watching the Walt Disney hour on Sunday nights ("In Living Color"!) while eating our snicky snacks from those aluminum pans.

Now doesn't that date me?  xD

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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indeed,   I also remember the Disney hour.   looked forward to it forever

 

we did not have a color TV.   not for a zillion years.    then there was Bonanza , also in color.

 

eventually I went down the street to an elementary school friends house to see Bonanza in color.  Round tube , huge set  lots of static.

 

amazing it was.

 

after both my parents moved on , i found the string of lights in a box w the pans still attached.  I almost kept them   in fine shape

 

would have been an EyeOpener in NewEngland !

 

but I did find the string and the shells a good local home in CA.

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Chicken pot pie is one of the things I make myself, but in a "semi-homemade" fashion. I use the readymade rolled pie crusts in the cooler section at the grocery (Pillsbury is better, if more expensive, than store brand); frozen mixed veggies; either canned (if I'm REALLY in a hurry), or poachedc chicken breast mea;t cream of chicken soup, and grated cheddar cheese. It's about three ounces of cheese, or, if you're using the pre-grated in the bag stuff, as much as you can reach in the bag and grab in one big handful.

 

One pie crust in the pan. Mix chicken, cooked and mostly drained veggies, cheese and soup. Dump in bottom crust. Top with top crust. Cut slits in top, and bake at 325 for about 40 minutes, until crust is golden.

 

I've made these from scratch, and they're not enough better than the open-and-dump-it-together variety to warrant the extra effort. 

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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there is a bit of nostalgia in this thread,  

 

@kayb 

 

you mentioned Cream of Chicken Soup.

 

the memories !

 

Ive been interested in  Cooking   for a long time.  I won't tell you about the Romper Room daytime TV show that told me ( while sick at home )  to cut out

 

white bread and bake them in the oven  ...............

 

but  after Julia Child on the good old PBS  ....

 

I made in high school  :

 

Cut Up Chicken    ( I cut up the whole chicken  myself )

 

One can Cream of Mushroom  and of Cream of Chicken Soup     undiluted  

 

One can of dry  ( Almaden reddish wine )

 

mix it all up   and add to a shallow pyrex dish  so 1/2 the chicken and its skin if above the mixture

 

and bake  until the skin crispy and and the sauce reduced

 

Coq au Vin Americaine.

 

 

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

there is a bit of nostalgia in this thread,  

 

@kayb 

 

you mentioned Cream of Chicken Soup.

 

the memories !

 

Ive been interested in  Cooking   for a long time.  I won't tell you about the Romper Room daytime TV show that told me ( while sick at home )  to cut out

 

white bread and bake them in the oven  ...............

 

but  after Julia Child on the good old PBS  ....

 

I made in high school  :

 

Cut Up Chicken    ( I cut up the whole chicken  myself )

 

One can Cream of Mushroom  and of Cream of Chicken Soup     undiluted  

 

One can of dry  ( Almaden reddish wine )

 

mix it all up   and add to a shallow pyrex dish  so 1/2 the chicken and its skin if above the mixture

 

and bake  until the skin crispy and and the sauce reduced

 

Coq au Vin Americaine.

 

 

Ahhhhh yes, Romper Room....she never ever said my name "I see Joey and Angela and Susie"....never ever my name lol.   Then there was Mr. Green Jeans. Good times.

 

I don't remember what brand they were, but they have to be the same as the ones described above with the little pie tins.  I liked the chicken ones...but I also remember beef (or some sort of product that they called beef).  Those were not good IMO.  

 

I'm weird.  I liked the gooey crust on the bottom.  That was my favorite part.

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40 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Ahhhhh yes, Romper Room....she never ever said my name "I see Joey and Angela and Susie"....never ever my name lol.   Then there was Mr. Green Jeans. Good times.

 

I don't remember what brand they were, but they have to be the same as the ones described above with the little pie tins.  I liked the chicken ones...but I also remember beef (or some sort of product that they called beef).  Those were not good IMO.  

 

I'm weird.  I liked the gooey crust on the bottom.  That was my favorite part.

 

She never said my name either! Yes, Mr. Green Jeans, Captain Kangaroo, Grandfather Clock and Bunny Rabbit... I must be weird too - I do not like crispy crust but love the gooey bottoms. I would flip the pie out of the tin, cut off the crust edge and discard, then mash the rest of it all together.

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Not sure if my replied will be considered 'fair', but a couple of months ago, we stopped in Nino Salvaggio International Market, see http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/. While there, we found a nine inch store made pot pie, that weighed on the order of two pounds, for around $10. It was really quite excellent - good crust, decent amount of chicken, not too salty, etc. Sadly, the closest store to our house is around 60 miles, so this is not a regular treat...

 

p.s. Given the prices for most everything else in the store, this is a real steal.

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We usually got ours from Harrow's.  It was a restaurant when I was growing up, but they now only do take home meals.

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While Costco's products are usually first-rate, IMO their chicken pot pies, while they look scrumptious, are totally awful.

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