As much as I love Chicken Pot Pie, I was looking to kick things up and bring some new flavors to this old family favorite. And old is an appropriate word. Pot Pies have a history going back to ancient Greece. The Greeks cooked meats mixed with all manner of other ingredients in open pastry shells. These were called Artocreas. The Romans took this recipe and added a top to the pastry crust thereby making it a fully enclosed meat pie. In the States, the pie had a surge of popularity in the 19th Century when a pot pie featuring robins was introduced. As settlers moved westward, they took their pot pie recipes with them. Now chicken pot pies and their meat variations are widely popular all over the country.
Researching Chicken Pot pie recipes revealed ingredients ranging from incredible—tomato, peach and tarragon, beet and goat cheese, mushrooms and lentils—to the inedible—chipotle pepper and kale, bratwurst, beer and cheddar pretzel. And pot pies have been internationalized. You can find an Irish version –gobs and gobs of cream–, an Indian version that’s vegetarian, and Martha Stewart has an Italian version. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was Italian about it with the possible exception of a quarter cup of Parmesan Cheese. As to Mexican Chicken Pot Pie, there seemed to be a general consensus that the addition of a single jalapeno pepper and corn spun this recipe south of the border.
What I decided to do was to take some Classic Mexican ingredients, a shredded rotisserie chicken, and a store-bought pastry crust and put the whole thing together in a 10 inch cast iron pan. The result was a delightful change from traditional chicken pot pie.
In the interest of full disclosure, Trader Joe’s came in very handy. I used their chunky tomato salsa, their frozen pastry crust, their Mexican cheese melange and most particularly their Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija cheese. Trader Joe’s says this dish was inspired by elote, a Mexican street food that’s sold on the cob. Here the corn’s off the cob and in varying states of roasted – from deeply charred to barely scorched at all. The seasoning comes in frozen pellets and there’s a tiny amount of cortija cheese. I added the entire package still in its frozen state. And I compensated for the lack of cheese in the corn by using a full two cups of Trader Joe’s Mexican cheese blend. Mixing all the ingredients together in one big bowl, I then transferred the mixture to the cast iron skillet. I hadn’t looked very closely at the Pie Pastry or I would have noted it takes an hour and a half to defrost. Andrew microwaved the frozen dough and very carefully unrolled it, forming a perfect circle, which we then topped the skillet with building up borders as we unrolled the dough. Into the oven it went. When it emerged, we cut into wedges, and served it along with a green salad. The result was a great new take on Chicken Pot Pie. Its Mexican flavors came through but it was not all spicy. It was about as kid-friendly as you can get. So much so that you might want to incorporate a tablespoon or two of chipotles in adobo to give it a kick. Here is the recipe.
Mexican Chicken Pot Pie
A new take on Chicken Pot Pie that's warming and flavorful and child-friendly because it's not the least bit spicy.
- 4 cups of rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1 16 oz. jar Salsa
- 1 12 oz can mexicorn, drained or 1-14 oz package of Trader Joe’s Mexican-style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese
- 2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese blend
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Store-bought Pie Pastry, defrosted
- For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 Tsp Heavy Cream
- Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Step 2 Shred Rotisserie chicken until you have 4 cups of chicken. Put it in a large bowl.
- Step 3 Add the salsa, corn, cheese, sour cream, cumin and garlic and mix well. Set aside.
- Step 4 Put the mixture into a 10 inch cast iron skillet.
- Step 5 Mix the cream into the beaten egg.
- Step 6 Top the mixture with the store-bought pastry crust.
- Step 7 Using a pastry brush, brush the pastry with the egg wash.
- Step 8 Cook for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve.
Here are some more genuine Mexican dishes on Chewing the Fat…