Friday, March 14, 2008

Grandma's Chicken Pot Pie

Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie
Dorcas Annette Walker

March weather is fickle at best. It teases and tantalizes with hints of warm summer days just around the corner. You never know from what day to the next whether to wear warm winter clothes or something cool and summery. In fact the day may start out with a freezing chill only to warm up like summer by noon. The earth itself here in the Tennessee mountains plays hide-and-seek with spring flowers appearing overnight by magic. It is hard for me to stay indoors on a sunny spring day. I find myself making endless rounds of my flower beds trying to catch green shoots popping out of the ground and seeing if the buds on my daffodils or tulips have opened. My fingers itch to work in the dirt and I start dreaming of my first taste of a vine-ripened garden tomato. This is the time of the year I make my Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie to help survive spring days.

Vegetables are defined as a plant cultivated for eating whether it be the root, leaf, or flower buds. In 1582 was recorded for the first time the adjective use of vegetable that is familiar to our usage today. It was not until the 18th century that vegetables became used as a noun to identify the kinds of plants that are eaten. Vegetables are an important source of vitamins. Most vegetables are low in fat and contain no cholesterol. They also are high in minerals and fiber. Here are some veggie facts. Carrots provide Vitamin A with fiber and potassium. Baby carrots are produced year round. They became so popular that demand exceeded the capacity to produce them so now regular carrots are cut into shorter lengths and peeled to look tiny. When corn is eaten fresh it is considered a vegetable. When corn is allowed to mature, dry, and is ground up it is then classified as a grain. There are about fifty varieties of green beans produced in the United States. Some green beans are string-less and grow close to the ground while others climb poles. Peas are a medium starch vegetable with good sources of vitamin C and fiber. Most peas are frozen or canned. Snow peas or Sugar Snap pea pods are eaten raw or stir-fried. The potato is America’s most versatile vegetable rich in potassium and Vitamin C that comes in a variety of color and sizes and is served baked, mashed, boiled, or fried. Potatoes also are used in casseroles, soups, appetizers, and snacks. The potato has been an essential part of the world’s diet for centuries first cultivated by the Indians in the Andes Mountains of South America then finding its way to Europe by the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century the potato was an important crop in Ireland. Today potatoes are grown in over 100 countries. The potato is only 20% solid and 80% water with most of the nutrients located just below the skin layer. The average American eats 140 pounds of potatoes each year including over 50 pounds of French fries. Thomas Jefferson is credited for introducing French fries to America.

My Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie oozes with lots of vegetables interspersed with pieces of chicken making it a colorful summery dish that is a feast for the eyes on a cloudy spring day. This casserole is a hardy and filling dish packed full of vitamins and nutrients with a thin biscuit-like topping. Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie can be eaten by itself or served with a tossed salad. Preparation time is around thirty minutes and this recipe of Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie serves twelve.

Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie

Cook in salt water until soft:
2 c peeled and cubed potatoes
2 c frozen mixed vegetables

Drain and mix in:
2 c sliced cooked chicken

1 can celery soup mixed with one cup of milk and one cup of water (can use a cup of chicken broth in place of water)
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together:
1 stick of margarine sliced
2 c self-rising flour
2 c milk
Pour over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and a knife inserted into the crust comes out clean. Serve piping hot to warm the body and soul!

Weekly tip: When boiling vegetables leave the lid of the pan tilted slightly to maintain color. A small chunk of margarine added to the vegetables while cooking will help prevent the water from boiling over!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, syndicated columnist, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more information check out:

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