Pot Pies Four Ways 

I sometimes get a real craving for pot pies. You know what I’m talking about. The pot pies our moms would buy in the freezer section of the grocery store. My mom only bought them when they were on sale, like four or five for a dollar. Banquet was the pot pie of choice in our house, maybe because they were quite often on sale. They did come in beef and chicken varities but we always just wanted chicken. We always ate the crispy crunchy crust first, even as it burned the roof of our mouths. The crust that I enjoyed so much in my youth was nothing like the crust of original, savory pot pies Oh, I had other savory pies in crust but always thought the frozen variety was the original pot pie. Not true, the first pies were made from dough that was barely edible, and often had whole chickens, pheasants or ducks as fillings. It is said the first pies of the Mediterranean people (I’m sure that includes Greeks) were made from olive oil, so the crust wasn’t even flaky. It was more of a way to keep the meat moist and tender during the baking. In ancient Rome, this crust was sometimes made with suet (ugh) and was dense and hard. Only the filling of this pot pie would be eaten and the crust would be left for the kitchen staff.
If you have a favorite, please send me your recipe. I would love to try it. 
I have a few recipes of my own to share, and one includes a delicious Greek variety. 

My In A Flash Pot Pie

1 package pastry pie crust (should be 2 in the package)
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted and drained
2 cups cooked boneless chicken, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter cut into chunks or olive oil
1 tablespoon butter melted or use olive oil

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, vegetables, soup, tarragon and pepper; set aside. Place one of the crusts in a 9-inch pie pan, being sure it overlaps the top by about a half inch. Carefully pour in pie filling and spread evenly. Top with 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Carefully add top crust; seal it well with bottom crust, pinching to ensure a good seal. Brush top with melted butter or olive oil; prick with a fork a few times to allow steam to escape. Bake 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. Approximately 6 meal-size servings

Kotopita (Greek Chicken Pie)

This is an easy buffet or spring outdoor dish. You can use a store-bought natural rotisserie chicken to omit a few steps.
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1 pound white onions, peeled and sliced into crescents
Greek kefalotiri hard cheese or Parmesan or Gruyère, grated
3 eggs
White pepper
3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
1 pound, packaged phyllo dough, defrosted (in the freezer section of your grocery store)
1 stick butter, unsalted, melted

DIRECTIONS: Place chicken in a large saucepan; cover with water and a little salt; bring to a boil. Add onions; cover and cook until chicken is tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Bring the liquid back to a boil and reduce to 1 cup.  When cool enough to handle, skin and debone the chicken and return to the pot with the liquid. In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly and add cheese, dill and seasonings; mix into the chicken. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of a large oblong pan (9- to 10-inch) with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a sheet of the phyllo, brush with butter. Repeat until half of the dough is used. Carefully pour the chicken mixure over dough. Top with remaining phyllo, one sheet at a time, brushing each sheet with butter. Fold in or cut the edges. Cut top layers only into serving pieces. Sprinkle a bit of cold water over the top of the dish and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven; let rest 10 minutes; cut and serve with a large Greek salad. 

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