Hye Thyme Cafe: Chicken Pot Pie with Hashbrown Crust

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie with Hashbrown Crust

This is one of those recipes that I clipped out of a Magazine a bazillion years ago and tucked away in my recipe box only to let it sit there untried, year after year. I don't remember what finally prompted me to make it, but holy cow! There's not actually a whole lot to it, but the flavor is amazing, and it's one of the few things the guys in this family will actually eat again on the off chance there are leftovers.

It was submitted to Taste of Home by Helen Lamison of Carnegie, PA, as Chicken in Potato Baskets. If I knew Helen, I'd give her a big hug for this one! I followed her recipe exactly the first time I made it, but for one thing, the ramekins don't hold enough for the guys, so I switched over to making it as a casserole. I made a few other minor changes as well; nothing major. You can follow the link above to see the original.

4 1/2 c frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
6 T butter, melted
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c butter, cubed
1/4 c flour
2 t Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 1/2 t Worcestershire
1-2 t dried sweet basil
2 c milk
3 c cubed cooked chicken (rotisserie)
1 c frozen peas, thawed
1 c diced carrots

Toss the hash browns with the salt, pepper, and melted butter, then press them into the bottom and up the sides of a casserole dish. I like to reserve a little to sprinkle on the top at the end. The original recipe skipped this step, but we found that the potatoes were still pretty raw when done this way, so I like to put them in the oven ahead of time to get some brown on them first. Depending on what type of dish you're using and what features your oven has, you might be able to just run it under the broiler for a minute or two.

While that's in the oven, dice the carrots to roughly the same size as the peas, then blanch them to give them a head start, or they will be very crunchy. The original didn't call for carrots, but I definitely think they're called for.

Saute the onion in the butter until translucent, then whisk in the flour and chicken base. The original called for 2t bouillon granules, but I find the Better than Bouillon adds a richer flavor.


Add the Worcestershire and milk, then bring it to a boil for a minute or two until thickened.

Stir in the peas, carrots, and chicken. You can certainly use any cooked chicken you want, but I like the flavor and convenience of the rotisserie chickens you can get nowadays at the market. Besides, for some reason, you can often find them cheaper than what it would cost you to buy and cook your own chicken.

Pour the mixture into your potato crust, then sprinkle the remaining potatoes on top if you reserved any, and bake at 375 for 30-35" until golden.

See what I mean by not much to it? You wouldn't think Worcestershire, basil, and chicken bouillon would make such a big impact, but it really is delicious! I'm also told it freezes very well. I made it for an aunt while visiting, and she loved it so much, she made one, froze it, and traveled out of state with it to bring to one of her daughters. Why she didn't just make it when she got there is a question I let pass. LOL I haven't had enough leftovers with this to try freezing, so I'm taking her word on it.  :)

You should make this ... SOON!! 

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