Making Chicken Pot Pies — Photos

I made chicken pot pies (a family favourite) this past weekend, along with crisped rice squares, two batches of bran muffins for mom, and some cooked ground beef and onions frozen in ice cube trays in the freezer. The chicken pot pies I make are more chicken cottage pies than what most people consider to be chicken pot pies, because there is a potato topping instead of a flaky crust; additionally, the sauce in the filling is somewhat less liquid than most people would expect from a chicken pot pie.

This recipe was added to my collection of recipes in the mid to late 2000’s as another making-a-lot-in-advance freezer food project, based on a recipe I’d found on the internet and adjusted for amounts to make freezer quantities, and using commercial chicken broth instead of making my own.

Note that below, while there may appear to be a distinct sequence of steps to be taken, presented as such for the sake of the narrative, many steps were actually performed simultaneously and / or overlapping with each other as given steps were finished and new steps begun. Also, note that I was again cooking at the cottage, using water from containers, because the water system is turned off during the winter.

First, water was put in a large pot:

Water poured into a large pot

Then, ten pounds of potatoes were taken out …

Ten pound bag of potatoes taken out

The potatoes were peeled …

Peeling potatoes

… and the peeled potatoes were placed in the pot with the water:

Peeled potatoes in the pot of water

Four peeled potatoes were put aside for later use in the filling:

Four potatoes put aside for later use in the filling

The rest of the potatoes were quartered …

Potatoes quartered

… and placed back in the pot of water:

Quartered potatoes placed in pot of water

The water was drained from the pot, and fresh water was added to the pot, covering the potatoes:

Fresh water being added to the drained pot of quartered potatoes
Quartered potatoes covered with fresh water

Salt was measured out:

Salt measured out

… and the salt was poured into the pot with the quartered potatoes:

Salt poured into the pot with the quartered potatoes

The stove was turned on for boiling the potatoes (rear burner), as well as frying the chicken breasts (front burner) (see next section):

Front and rear burners on stove turned on

… and the potatoes were brought to a boil …

Potatoes brought to a boil

… and kept boiling for twenty (20) minutes:

Timer set to about 20 minutes

In the meantime, chicken breasts were taken out …

Chicken breasts taken out

Olive oil was lightly poured into a cast iron skillet …

Olive oil poured lightly into a cast iron skillet

… salt was added to the cast iron skillet …

Salt added to the cast iron skillet

… and the chicken breasts were placed in the cast iron skillet and salted, to be slowly pan fried:

Chicken breasts added to the skillet

While the chicken breasts were cooking, occasionally being turned over several times in order to avoid burning on the outside while leaving the centres under-cooked, vegetables were prepared.

Carrots were taken out:

Carrots taken out

The carrots were cleaned and trimmed:

Carrots taken out

The carrots were then cut along their length twice, quartering them and creating spears:

Carrots sliced into spears

The carrots were then chopped coarsely:

Carrots chopped coarsely

… and finally, the chopped carrots were placed in an electric skillet, and put aside:

Chopped carrots in electric skillet

Onions were taken out:

Onions taken out

The onions were cleaned and trimmed:

Cleaned and trimmed onions

The onions were roughly quartered:

Quartered onions

… and then the onions were chopped coarsely:

Coarsely chopped onions

… and finally, the chopped onions were placed in the electric skillet with the carrots, and put aside:

Chopped onions placed in electric skillet

The peeled potatoes put aside earlier were taken out:

Peeled potatoes from earlier taken out

The potatoes were sliced along their length:

Potatoes sliced along their length

The potatoes were again sliced along their lengths, crosswise, in order to make spears:

Potatoes sliced into spears

The potatoes were sliced into small cubes, about half an inch:

Potatoes sliced into cubes

… and finally, the cubed potatoes were placed in the electric skillet with the carrots and onions:

Potatoes added to carrots and onions

Olive oil was added to the carrots, onions, and potatoes in the electric skillet:

Olive oil added to the vegetables

Salt was added to the vegetables and olive oil:

Salt added to vegetables and olive oil

The vegetables, olive oil, and salt, were mixed together:

Mixing vegetables, olive oil, and salt
Vegetables, olive oil, and salt thoroughly mixed

The vegetable mix and electric skillet were put aside until after the next step (mashing potatoes).

At this point, I turned my attention back to the potatoes, which were almost finished boiling.

Milk was taken out and measured:

Milk measured out

The boiled potatoes were drained:

Drained potatoes

… and the milk was poured into the pot of still steaming boiled potatoes:

Milk poured into the pot of boiled potatoes

Margarine was taken out, and a couple of dollops of margarine were measured out:

Dollops of margarine measured out

… and the margarine was added to the potatoes and milk:

Margarine added to the potatoes and milk

Salt was measured out again:

Salt measured out

… and the salt was added to the pot of boiled potatoes, milk, and margarine:

Salt added to boiled potatoes, milk, and margarine

The potatoes were mashed with a hand-held masher:

Mashing the potatoes, milk, margarine, and salt together
Mashed potatoes

The mashed potatoes were covered and put aside for later.

Back to the mixed chopped vegetables, the electric skillet was turned on …

Electric skillet turned on

… and the mixed chopped vegetables were fried.

In the meantime, the chicken breasts had become nicely cooked and browned:

Cooked and browned chicken breasts

The chicken was removed from the cast iron skillet, and put aside on a plate for a few moments.

Water was poured into the cast iron skillet to deglaze the pan:

Water added to pan to deglaze it

The cast iron skillet with the deglazing liquid were put aside for a few moments.

During this time, the vegetables began frying nicely:

Frying chopped vegetables

A box of commercial chicken broth was taken out …

Chicken broth taken out

… and the chicken broth was poured over the frying vegetables:

Chicken broth poured over frying vegetables

The deglazing liquid from the cast iron skillet was poured into the electric skillet with the vegetables and chicken broth:

Pouring deglazing liquid from the cast iron skillet into the electric skillet

The liquid in the electric skillet was brought to a boil:

Liquid in the electric skillet brought to a boil

The vegetables and liquid were covered and simmered for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, back to the cooked chicken breasts, the chicken breasts were cut into rough cubes and smaller:

Cooked chicken breasts cut into small pieces

The chopped cooked chicken was then placed in a bowl, and put aside for a few moments:

Chopped cooked chicken

A cup of flour was measured out …

Flour measured out

… and poured into a mixing bowl:

Flour poured into a mixing bowl

Two more cups of milk were measured out:

Milk measured out

… and poured over the flour in the mixing bowl:

Milk poured over flour in mixing bowl

The flour and milk were thoroughly mixed with a fork:

Mixing flour and milk with a fork
Flour and milk thoroughly mixed

At this point, the vegetables and broth had been simmering for 20 minutes, and the chopped chicken was transferred to the electric skillet with the chopped vegetables and broth:

Chopped chicken being added to the electric skillet
Chopped chicken added to the electric skillet

The ingredients were mixed together with a large serving spoon:

Ingredients mixed with a large serving spoon

At this point, timing becomes important in order to mix things properly, before heat thickens the milk and flour mixture too much, making proper mixing more difficult.

The flour and milk mixture was added to the rest of the ingredients in the electric skillet:

Flour and milk mixture being added to the ingredients in the electric skillet

The electric skillet was unplugged, and quickly, the ingredients were all mixed together, fully mixing all the liquids as well as the rest of the ingredients:

All ingredients fully mixed

Previously, a number of baking containers were laid out:

Baking containers laid out

The filling was spooned into the baking pans, to about half the depth of the baking pans:

Filling spooned into baking pans
Baking pans filled with chicken / vegetable / sauce filling

The still warm mashed potatoes were spread on top of the chicken / vegetable / sauce filling in the baking pans:

Mashed potatoes were spread on top of the chicken / vegetable / sauce filling
All baking pans with mashed potato topping and filling

Sealable freezer bags were identified:

Identified freezer bags

The chicken pot pies were placed in individual bags:

Chicken pot pies in individual bags

And finally, the chicken pot pies were placed in the freezer for freezing, and of course future eating!

Chicken pot pies in the freezer


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