Over the years, I've written about the people who've had the greatest influence on my cooking: my Mexican grandparents, my mother, my Southern belle great-grandmother, a couple of aunts, and my suegra (mother-in-law). But there is one person I haven't mentioned yet...my dad.
I lived with my dad (in Texas) for maybe a year when I was in the 4th or 5th grade. I don't remember him ever really cooking, but we did eat dinner together each night, sitting in front of the TV, watching The Dukes of Hazard or some other 80's TV show. Back then, my dad's idea of a home cooked meal consisted mostly of frozen TV dinners in aluminum trays. This was before the microwave oven became a must-have household appliance.
My favorite of all the frozen dinners was Chicken Pot Pie. Something about the creamy sauce and little pieces of chicken and cut-up veggies surrounded by the golden, flaky crust had me mesmerized. The turkey and beef pot pies were good too, but the chicken was by far the best.
When I was little older and living with my grandparents, I'd buy a frozen chicken pot pie every once in a while for those moments I was feeling nostalgic or missing my dad. But the new and improved microwaveable pot pies weren't as good as the ones my dad used to "make".
When Hubby and I got married, I tried my hand at making one from scratch. The end result was quite delicious, but Hubby wasn't (and still isn't) really big on savory foods that resembled sweet treats, like pies and empananadas. So, over the years, my homemade Chicken Pot Pie has evolved. The filling is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever: chicken, roasted poblano peppers, and golden corn kernels. And the pie crust has been replaced with a buttery biscuit topping. My Poblano Chicken Pot Pie is creamy and delicious with just a hint of spice, and so comforting, every time I make it, I am reminded of the short time I got to spend with my dad and our nightly frozen TV dinners.
Poblano Chicken Pot Pie
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut in cubes
- 2 large poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped
- 1 small can corn kernels
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
For the biscuit topping:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 3/4 cups of milk
If you haven't already done so, cook/boil the whole chicken breasts. I like to cook mine with a clove of garlic, 1/2 an onion, a sprig of cilantro, salt and pepper. Shred or chop the cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. While the chicken is cooking, roast the poblano peppers over an open flame, or toast on a skillet or comal over high heat, for a few minutes on each side, until most of the skin has charred. Place in a plastic bag and let sit for about 10 minutes. (This allows the poblanos to sweat, making it them much easier to peel.) Remove the charred skin, seeds and stems from the poblano peppers; chop or slice the poblano peppers.
In a 2 to 3-quart casserole or baking dish, combine the cooked chicken breasts, chopped poblano peppers, corn kernels, onion and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour until it forms a paste. Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly to avoid clumps from forming. Let sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Stir gently to combine.
Prepare the biscuit topping by combining the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, add the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the milk until the dough comes together.
Spoon biscuit dough on top of the chicken and vegetables.
To prevent spills, place the casserole dish on top of a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F until the biscuit topping turns golden brown (about 30 minutes).