Yesterday I was REALLY in the mood for chicken pot pie, but I didn't want to use up half a pound of butter to make it! Luckily, I remembered an old shepherds pie recipe I used to make a lot, and I used it as a template to come up with something. Here's what I made:
FRUGAL CHICKEN PIE
1 can (13 oz) white meat chicken
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
ONE tsp dried minty herb, (like thyme, chervil, marjoram, savory)
1 bay leaf
1C sliced mushrooms, (optional)
1 can chicken broth
4 or 5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2C shredded cheese (I like cheddar!)
Heat the chicken broth up to boiling. Add the chicken, carrots, and celery. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Remove the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Reserve the broth in another bowl. Return the pan to the heat with 1Tbsp butter. Melt the butter, and then add the onions and optional mushrooms, the herbs, and 1/2tsp salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the reserved broth, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture and reserve. Wash out the saucepan.
Place the potatoes in the saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently until the potatoes are tender. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2C cooking water. Return the potatoes to the pan, shaking until they look dry. Add the butter and a splash of cooking water. Mash with a potato masher until most of the lumps are gone. Add the milk, and 1/2tsp salt. Beat the potatoes with a wooden spoon, adding enough cooking water to achieve a smooth consistency.
Place the chicken/onion mixture in a greased, 2 quart baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the potatoes. Bake @425 for about 25 minutes.
I served this chicken pie with homemade wheat biscuits topped with mango preserves I canned last Summer. For dessert we ate an apple, mango, cranberry fruit crisp. YUM!