Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Freezer Meals for New Moms | Chicken Pot Pie

Last week I started a Mini Series on making freezer meals for New Moms. 

When my sister-in-law got pregnant with her second, I told her that I would make her one week's worth of freezer meals.  She plans on nursing this baby, so I needed to make sure that the meals I made would be safe for a newborn's belly (not taking into account gluten & dairy).  When I started googling freezer meals for nursing moms, I couldn't actually find anything that recommended good recipes.  So I came up with my own list.

White Pizza
Chicken Potpie
White Lasagna
Chicken Fajitas (light on the Onions)
Poppy Seed chicken
Baked Mac n Cheese
Chicken Pot Pie

First, you need to start off with a pie crust.  If you want to save time (and lack flavor), you can buy one.  I don't recommend it.  There is nothing  better than a homemade pie crust.

There is homemade pie crust.  And then there is homemade pie crust made with coconut oil. 

I've used the same pie crust recipe for years.  Like, since I made my first pie. 

Let me tell you what.  This Coconut oil Pie crust blows my recipe out of the water.  Here's the thing.  Coconut oil is different than lard.  It turns to liquid at a lower temperature than lard does.  So after you make the dough you have to refrigerate it for an hour or so before you roll it out. 

Also, if you are going to freeze the pot pie, let the chicken mixture cool before you put the crust on the top.  If you are baking it right away, you'll put the crust on immediately.  Just make your slits before you put the crust over your pie pan.

Coconut Oil Pie Dough
(Makes 1 crust, double if you are making 2 pot pies, or if you are making a pie that need a double crust)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
4-7 tbsp water, cold

1.) Mix together Flour, Sugar, & Salt
2.) Cut in coconut oil using a pastry cutter or your fingers.  You'll want the coconut oil to break up and mix in with the flour mixture.  You do not want any chunks of coconut oil that would be larger than the end of a pencil eraser. 
3.) Using a fork, mix in the water 1-2 Tbsp at a time.  The water needs to be VERY cold.  (Often times, I will make a glass of icewater and get the water from that.)  Add just enough water for the dough to almost come together in a ball. 
4.) Form dough into a ball with your hands, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.

Now on to the innards of the Pot Pie.  I'm going to give you 2 recipes.
My sister gave me a recipe for Pot Pie that she swears by:
1 Can Cream of Chicken
1 Can Cream of Potato
1 Can mixed Veggies (Called vergo)
2 cans of chicken
Mix together .  Place in Deep  Dish Pie Pan, add top crust.  Bake at 400 for 1 hour.
I am not a HUGE fan of cream of anything.  If I had just been making this for my sister in law I would have used the above recipe.  But, I wanted to make one for us for dinner so I could try out my new pie crust recipe, so I found this recipe....
Pot Pie
Picture from The Pioneer Woman, where I found this recipe, since I am a SUPER SLACKER and forgot to photography my finished poduct!!
Chicken Pot Pie
(Preheat oven to 375 if you're not freezing)

4 Tbls Butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup half & half or cream (I used regular milk)


  • Melt Butter in a large sauce pan.
  • Add Onion, carrot, and celery until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Mix in Chicken.
  • Sprinkle flour over mixture, and stir in.  Cook for 1 minute
  • Pour in Chicken Broth and stir until it starts to thicken.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.  (You can also add in garlic and turmeric if you want)
  • Slowly add in cream, stirring until the mixture bubbles up and thickens.  If it seems too thick you can add more.
  • Pour into Pie Pan or a Casserole dish.
  • Roll out Pie dough and place over the top of the Pan. 
  • Seal edges around the pan so it doesn't pull apart as it bakes
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown and the inside is bubbly

I ended up making 2 pies out of this, but I also didn't measure everything exactly.  Remember, I'm just a dump until it looks good kind of girl.  If you are making this for a family larger that 2-3, you might want to bake it in a 2 qt baking dish instead of a deep dish pie pan.
To get the crust a lovely golden brown...Mix an egg with 2 Tbls of water and brush the mixture over the crust. (you won't use all of the egg mix)  It will give your crust a wonderful golden brown finish.
Make sure to cut slits in your pie crust or it will puff up! 
If you are freezing, let the mix cool completely before adding the crust.  Also, do not add the egg mixture to the top pie crust.  Wrap the Dish in plastic wrap, and then wrap it with aluminum foil.  The better you wrap it, the less chance it has to be freezer burnt.  Make sure to label it & leave good instructions for the new mom for baking! I usually will just write it directly on the Aluminum Foil. 
I would recommend for her to let it thaw, and then bake it for 60 minutes.  It can be baked while it is frozen, but it will take a lot longer, and I think the crust will get over baked.
If you have any questions, just let me know!



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