PopPop’s Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
Will make 3 deep dish 9 ½ “pies
Combine all the following ingredients in a pressure cooker:
9 chicken thighs
8 medium carrots sliced
½ head of celery sliced
3 medium onions diced
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
About 2 quarts of chicken broth or stock; cover solid contents.
Bring pressure cooker up to 15 psi or until the weight rattles well and cook 15 minutes.
Let pressure release, remove chicken thighs, pick chicken from the bones, dice chicken bits and refrigerate for later.
Take the skin and bones from picking the chicken and put back in the pressure cooker with all the ingredients from the first cooking.
Add 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, another 2 cups of chicken broth or stock, and once again bring pressure cooker up to 15 psi or until the weight rattles well and cook 15 minutes.
Let pressure release, drain all the stock, put in canning jars, and refrigerate for later. The rest of the contents now go to my compost pile.
After the stock has chilled skim off all of the hardened chicken fat. This goes to my compost pile.
This I now call chicken base. I can make chicken shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, or chicken ala king with this chicken base and the diced chicken from round 1.
I start with a 6 quart stock pot.
Add 6 to 8 medium potatoes peeled and diced into ¼” cubes.
Add 4 – 12 oz. bags of frozen mixed vegetables: carrots, green beans, corn, and peas.
Add enough chicken base to just cover all the vegetables. If there is not enough chicken base, add more chicken broth or stock.
Cook until the potatoes just turn tender.
Move the hot stock pot off of the stove burner; add the diced chicken, 3 heaping tbsp. of corn starch mixed with enough water to make slurry, and stir mixture carefully until the corn starch thickens. After thickening add 2 – 10.5 oz. cans cream of chicken soup and mix. Add black pepper while mixing, fresh ground pepper is best.
Let this mixture cool, add ¼ cup whole wheat white flour, and stir mixture carefully until the flour is fully incorporated in the pie filling. For me this equals about 5 quarts of filling.
Cook a nice batch of mashed potatoes or better yet have a couple of quarts of leftover mashed potatoes ready.
Take 3 deep dish 9 ½ “pie plates, put a bottom crust into each of them, fill to about 1/8” from the top edge of the pie plates, trim the pie crust flush with the top edge of the pie plates. I get my filling even closer, but I get some dripping.
Preheat oven to 450 deg. F, bake pies at 450 deg. F for 15 minutes to set the crust, then set oven to 350 deg. F, and bake until the filling is bubbling.
Remove pies, top the pies with ½” to 1” of softened mashed potatoes, set oven to broil while topping the pies, and place pies on top rack under top burners. My burners were about 4” from the top of the mashed potatoes. Broil until the mashed potatoes are a nice brown color. Rotate and move the pies around to get even browning.
The picture showed the one that turned out perfect. This takes a lot of diligence.
Take the pies out and let them cool down just enough to serve.