What to do when you have leftover chicken?
Chicken is a staple meat in our home, easy to cook, cheaper to buy than beef and lamb and loved by all, it is always in my freezer, ready to be defrosted and eaten in many of my favourite recipes.
I love a chicken salad or a chicken sandwich, but when I have enough leftover chicken to make a full meal I want to take advantage.
leftover cooked chicken can tend to be a little dry, and if it’s not marinated or coated, then a little tasteless too.
I started making pot pie a few months ago, here in Australia, pot pie isn’t very popular, so it took me a while to get on the pot pie bandwagon.
Now I realise that the humble pot pie is a way to pretty much make anything taste great, cover it in flaky pastry and call it comfort food!
Large family and budget-friendly!
I think this meal cost me around 10 dollars, counting the pastry, the leftover chicken, the 4 cups of veggies and the pantry staples, I estimated it cost around 70 cents a serve!
I am not usually all about budget, but let’s face it, lately with the rising prices of EVERYTHING I am finding myself feeling good when I realise I can make a tasty, healthy meal with leftovers for the next day for a few bucks.
Make it your way
For this particular chicken pot pie, I used leftover chicken from the Sunday roast, and frozen veggies, since I had yet to go to the local fruit and veg shop to stock up on fresh produce.
I am not a fan of frozen Veg, at least not on their own as a side, but in pie, you can not tell it’s the frozen bag type and not the fresh produce I prefer.
This cold chicken doesn’t look great, but pulled apart, and doused in the creamy chicken stock gravy with cheese, garlic and herbs you can turn this into something tasty.
Pot pie is easy, as it isn’t the traditional Aussie pie style, where the filling is completely encased in pastry, only the top needs a good topping of puff pastry which saves you time, effort and money.
Homemade or store-bought puff pastry
I make my own, I have a recipe for a rough puff, nothing overly extravagant but far better than store-bought pastry.
It’s quick, only taking a few minutes to mix, and then roll out and cut into small squares as I do for my pot pies I find this it gives an extra thick pastry crust without being dry, it pairs well with such a hearty filling.
If you are using store-bought puff pastry I would use 4 sheets for this pie (not shortcrust) then cut into squares and lightly layer over each other the same way, this way you can create a thicker and puffier top that is filling and tasty.
Cook the pot pie filling, use whatever you like!
start by melting butter and sauteeing some onions and garlic.
Either fresh garlic, garlic minced or garlic powder.
This is your flavour base.
Then add your flour and water paste, this is to thicken the stock and vegetable mix as it cooks so it’s not too soupy.
About 4 tablespoons of the flour mix into this sauteed Veg, then slowly add your stock.
Mix, let boil until thickened, and then add 4 cups of whatever vegetables you choose and then cream, chopped into bite-size pieces.
Use about 3 cups worth of any shredded chicken, I used half of a whole baked chicken from my Sunday roast a few days previous.
Jazz up your pot pie!
Whenever I cook something like this, cheap, filling and easy.
I raid my fridge for any ways to use up something before the next shop or to just add a little something to make it extra tasty.
Today I had tomatoes.
I only had three, so I sliced them, seasoned them with salt, pepper and mixed herbs and roasted them on 190 for 20 minutes, till they were soft and sweet.
You can use anything to jazz up your chicken pot pie or nothing at all.
You could add a fried rasher of bacon diced, chives, shallots, and fresh herbs like thyme, parsley or rosemary.
You could add a nice cheese, fetta, brie, gruyere or plain old cheddar.
This chicken pot pie is made to make to your own tastes.
- 2 onions red or brown
- 4 cloves of garlic, or 2 tsp of garlic powder or minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with water to form a thick paste.
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- a teaspoon of salt
- a teaspoon of pepper
- 2 cups of cream, thickened or pure.
- a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs or herbs of your choice
- 4 cups of chopped vegetables, either fresh, frozen or both
- 3 cups of shredded chicken
- 4 tablespoons pecorino or parmesan cheese
- Optional: baked tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, bacon, cheese, fresh herbs. Whatever you want to add!
- 1 batch of my rough puff pastry or four sheets of bought puff pastry
- egg for egg wash
- in a large pot, melt butter, and add onions and garlic to cook until tender and fragrant.
- add your flour paste and mix into the onion and garlic mix.
- Add your herbs, salt and pepper.
- Add chicken stock 1 cup at a time, and mix until incorporated before adding the next cup.
- Add your cream and mix until thickened and bubbling.
- Add your vegetables and let the mixture bubble, stirring to stop burning until almost cooked.
- Add your shredded chicken
- and add pecorino or parmesan cheese.
- You can add any extras now, mix through, or pour your filling into a large 10-cup casserole dish and sprinkle on top.
- allow the pot pie filling to cool slightly before adding your pastry, the cooler the better so your butter in the pastry doesn't soften too much before baking and reduces the melt-in-your-mouth effect of the pastry.
- for the puff pastry make it according to the puff pastry recipe and then roll out on a floured surface.
- roll until thin, around 3 millimetres, and then roughly cut into squares. you will need a sprinkle of flour on your bench top to stop it from sticking.
- layer the pastry squares just slightly overlapping each other, until the entire filling is covered.
- Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl with a fork, and then using a pastry brush brush the whisked egg onto the pastry.
- bake in a hot oven, (200 celsius) for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and puffy.
- serve with salad, greens, or mashed potato.