Easy Chicken Pot Pie is my spin on a classic comfort food that has been enjoyed by families for generations. It typically consists of a savoury filling made with left-over chicken, gravy and vegetables, baked inside a flaky pie crust.
Easy Chicken Pot Pie is often associated with home-cooked meals and a sense of nostalgia for simpler times.
Food is so central to our lives, not just for the sustenance it provides, but also for the memories and emotions it evokes. Food nostalgia is a mix of sensory and emotional experiences. The sights, smells, and tastes of a particular dish can trigger memories and emotions associated with specific times, places, and people in our lives. The smell of freshly baked cookies reminds me of baking with my grandmother every time.
Food nostalgia is especially strong when it comes to comfort foods – the dishes I turn to in times of stress or sadness.
Comfort foods are associated with happy memories and feelings of safety and security, which is why I crave them when I’m feeling blue.
At the restaurant, I see food nostalgia becoming a popular trend in the food industry since Covid, because of the emotional pull certain dishes evoke. At Italian by Night, I will take a classic Italian recipe and put what I call the IbN ‘spin’ on it to give the dish an updated version of the original. I do the same thing at home hence, Easy Chicken Pot Pie.
Food nostalgia is a powerful force that shapes our food preferences, attitudes, and emotions. Whether it’s the taste of a beloved childhood dish or the smell of a holiday feast, food has the power to transport us back in time and evoke strong emotions which can enrich our relationship with food and enjoy the memories and emotions it brings.
My Easy Chicken Pot Pie evokes feelings of warmth and comfort as the aroma wafts from the oven as it bakes.
Don’t worry about having the time or the energy to make homemade pastry. My recipe uses commercial puff pastry that’s easy to use and delicious to eat. Often times, we think of pot pies as a way to use up left over meat and gravy. This recipe lets you have chicken pot pie, any time you want not just when there’s left-over’s in the house. Using heavy cream in the sauce makes the gravy heavenly not to mention the flakey crust of puffed pastry. Add whipped potatoes and buttered peas – this time of year I use frozen – and you’ll create a dinner full of nostalgia.
Thanks for reading.
¼ cup butter
2 leeks, white part only, sliced ¼ “ thick
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1” pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
300g package store-bought puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400*F
- Place 4 - 8 ounce ramekins on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add butter and melt until foaming then add sliced leek.
- Sauté for 5 minutes then add chicken cubes.
- Add thyme leaves, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
- Cook chicken mixture for three more minutes.
- Using a large slotted spoon, transfer chicken and leek to baking dishes leaving cream mixture in the skillet
- Increase heat and reduce sauce by a third.
- Divide sauce between baking dishes
- Roll the puff pastry to 1/8 “
- Cut out circles of puffed pastry slightly larger than the circumference of your serving dishes.
- Top the baking dishes with the pastry allowing a little to drape over the edge of the dish.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.
- Place in oven and bake 20 minutes or until the tops are puffy and golden.
THE LOVE: Every oven cooks differently so make sure the puff pastry is well cooked. You should be able to see the layers separating.