As I may have said before, in my house I am famous for my chicken enchiladas, so why am I showing you a Southwestern chicken pot pie? Simply because, I only make the enchiladas when my family visits and there are no photos or recipe as the entire dish gets demolished. One thing I love about the chicken enchiladas is the velvety green chile sauce that is poured over the dish before topping with cheese. I have tweaked this sauce over the years and thought it would also make a great sauce for a Southwestern chicken pot pie. One day, I will post my chicken enchiladas, but today, I offer you a slightly spicy chicken pot pie for your comfort food repertoire.
A homemade chicken broth seasoned with garlic, onion and cumin is essential to this pie’s success. To make this broth and to cook the chicken for the pot pie, I use large bone-in breast halves with the skin on, plus the aromatics and plain water; boil until the chicken is done, remove it to cool, then strip the meat off. The flavorful broth is strained and reserved to make the green chile sauce for the pot pie. This can be done a day ahead, both covered and refrigerated. I usually moisten the cooked chicken with some of the broth as it keeps the chicken from having that leftover taste after being refrigerated. This recipe serves 4 generously.
For the Broth
2 large bone-in chicken breast halves, skin on
1 medium white onion, peeled and halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
5-6 black peppercorns
Salt to taste
Cold water to cover
In a large heavy pot, place all the ingredients and water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming the scum from the top. Lower heat and cook gently until chicken has cooked. Remove the chicken from the broth; cool and remove meat from bones and roughly chop. Strain broth, discard vegetables. You should have at least 4 cups. At this time, you can cool both and refrigerate separately until you are ready to make the sauce for the pie.
For the Pot Pie
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups hot chicken broth
1 small can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 cup chopped cooked carrots
1/2 canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, diced large
Jalapeño Jack Cheese Cornbread Topping, recipe below
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add onions and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Increase heat to medium, add flour, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add hot broth gradually, stirring until sauce is smooth. Add drained chopped green chiles. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Add corn, carrots, black beans and chicken. Cook several minutes to heat all the ingredients. Pour into 4-10 ounce ramekins, leaving 1/2 to 3/4-inch space for the topping. Top with jalapeño jack cheese cornbread batter.
Jalapeño Jack Cheese Cornbread Batter
3/4 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal mix-I used House of Autry Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded jalapeño Jack cheese
In a small bowl, combine cornmeal mix, egg, vegetable oil and 1/2 cup milk. Add shredded cheese and stir. If more milk is needed to create a batter consistency, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk until consistency is achieved. Preheat oven to 400° F. Divide batter among the 4 ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking pan. Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until cornbread has cooked through and sauce is bubbly and hot.
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