Chicken, Herb, and Sweet Corn Pie
Does it get any more comforting than this? Tender shredded chicken and corn baked in a creamy, herbed sauce under a golden pastry crust. This is a great day-two use of chicken when you want to make three meals from one roaster (see our Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken) for another economical supper. No need to say more!
If you have time to make your pastry from scratch, feel free, but now you can easily buy good prepared pie crust, which is what we often do.
Makes 4 Servings
- $1.56 per serving
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*Optional ingredients are not counted towards pricing
boneless, skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks, or one whole chicken breast (or pre-cooked leftover chicken pieces)
onions (small), diced
oil (or butter)
- salt and pepper to taste
thyme, tarragon, or dill
corn, frozen or freshly cut off the cob (if frozen, defrosted and well-drained)
prepared pie crust, thawed according to package instructions (or homemade)
scallion, thinly sliced
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-45 minutes (depending on whether you're using fresh or pre-cooked chicken)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you're using pre-cooked chicken, remove meat from bones, cut into bite-size pieces, set aside, and skip to step 2. (Refrigerate or freeze bones along with any meat clinging to them for a third meal of chicken soup.) If you're using fresh chicken, place the chicken and about a half cup of water in a tightly-lidded saucepan or frying pan and cook for about 8-15 minutes, depending on size of the chicken pieces. Test for doneness by cutting into the thickest part. Place chicken on a plate to cool, then remove any bones, shred the meat to bite-size pieces and set aside.
- In a medium-size saucepan (you can use the same pan that you cooked the chicken in), sauté diced onion in oil (or butter) until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring to blend flour and oil. Slowly pour in the milk, while stirring—a whisk is helpful to break up any lumps.
- Cook the white sauce over medium heat, stirring now and then until it simmers, and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Continue cooking and stirring a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the seasonings: about 1/4 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste), along with the pepper and thyme, tarragon, or dill.
- Place the chicken and corn in the white sauce, stir, and taste again for seasoning. Pour the creamed chicken and corn into a small baking dish. An 8- to 10-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for this. Turn the pie crust upside down out of its foil plate onto the creamed chicken and pierce the crust a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the crust—coarsely ground salt and pepper from a mill are especially good—and press lightly.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges. Garnish with thyme or sliced scallion and serve right away, or relax first with a glass of wine and admire your handiwork. The cast-iron pan will keep it warm for you!
- You can replace the milk with broth or use half broth, half milk in the sauce.
- Some packaged pie crusts are easier to handle (less sticky) if not defrosted before you turn them out. Others will need to be completely thawed before using, so follow package instructions.
- This dish is great with an assortment of vegetables you may have on hand. Instead of—or in addition to—corn, you can use broccoli or cauliflower florets, chopped celery or carrots, diced potatoes, or sliced mushrooms. Just add them along with the onion in step 2.