The best pot pies are homemade ones, but lazy pot pies are the best answer to cold weather and low energy. You have every right to eat thick meat stews in pie form, but not everyone has the gumption to toil away for hours. There is a way to have it all. Summon up your inner Sandra Lee: This hearty dish is made with store-bought components, so you can manipulate them into a delicious and worthy pie.
For a proper lazy pie that tastes better than anything in the frozen section, you’ll need a can of soup and a sheet of packaged, frozen pastry. You can use puff pastry, or a sheet of pie dough, if you prefer. Thaw the pastry in the refrigerator according to the package directions, and preheat the oven to 400°F. Grab a can of creamy chicken soup. Maybe you already have a favorite: It might be chicken corn chowder, or chicken and dumplings, maybe even creamy chicken noodle, Progresso makes a chicken pot pie style soup, but whatever it is, this is your base.
Add the soup to a pot. Bring it to a boil and stir in a cornstarch slurry. This will thicken your filling to enrobe the ingredients and ensure it’s not runny. If you haven’t made a cornstarch slurry before, stir about two tablespoons of cornstarch into a half cup of cold water until you no longer feel it sticking at the bottom. (You may not use all of this liquid depending on your texture preference.) Add half of the slurry to the boiling soup while stirring quickly. Let the mixture return to a boil to see how thick it is. If you like it thicker, add the rest of the slurry while stirring. You’ll only be able to see the full impact of the cornstarch once it returns to a boil. If you like it even thicker, you can always make more slurry.
Take the mixture off the heat. At this point, you can take the soup to near scratch-made flavor levels. Stir in cooked, shredded chicken, frozen peas, frozen corn, or small pieces of potato. Get a little inspired and add fresh or dried herbs and some savory spices. Anything additional from your fridge or spice rack will take this canned soup further and further away from tasting like canned soup. No need to bring it back to a boil, though; it’s about to go in the oven.
Pour the filling into an oven safe pie plate, ramekin, cast iron skillet, or other pot pie-worthy baking dish. Place the thawed pastry on the counter and cut vent slits into it. Lay the pastry over the top of the filling. You can trim the edges so it fits the dish neatly, or leave some overhang. There’s no need to crimp or press the pastry to the dish, but if you like the effect, you certainly can. Note that puff pastry will have better lift if you leave the edges untouched. Lightly egg wash the top, avoiding the vents, and place the pie on a sheet tray in the 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry has nicely browned, or puffed completely. Although you won’t want to, let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes before diving in.
You can use this method with any canned soup. Try chicken mushroom, or a clam chowder pot pie. A can of soup has always been one serving for me, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days, and reheat it in the microwave or in the oven. Reminder: Lazy chicken pot pies are best enjoyed in stretchy pants.
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