It was a hot, steamy day in early-July. Not your typical chicken pot pie day. My kitchen (and my body) were balmy. Halloween is our traditional chicken pot pie day. I make a nice sour cream crust. I use canned veggies and cook up some quick chicken breast chunks, then mix it all with a can of cream-of-whatever soup and chuck it in the oven, all while answering the doorbell to hand out chocolate to little goblins and princesses. Today’s Pie 9.0 took quadruple the time and effort.

My most famous CPP, about five years ago on October 31, had a suspicious hard lump in the bottom, and upon slicing we found the spoon I’d used to mix it. Baked right in. No soggy bottom, but a bit o’stainless steel for flavor. That didn’t happen with Pie 9.0.

Of the nine pies so far from Sugar Butter Flour, this was my first attempt at a savory pie. I learned “savory” from Mary Berry, so be sure to hear it in your head as you read with only two syllables, as I refuse to move my lips as the word escapes.

My stupid market challenges were something called Jerk spice and boneless chicken thighs. Really. Guess what I did? I asked for help twice! The nice lady loading styrofoam meat trays knew just where the awful-looking chicken thighs were hiding. The nice stock boy stopped whistling his weird tune to show me where the Jerk spice was hiding (after Google completely failed) with the Mexican food and not with the rest of the spices. And he gave me a tip: If I actually look at the items on the shelves as I pass through the aisles, I might have noticed the very cheap spice rack of a BADIA brand (not with the McCormick and other spices). Now I have a giant jar of cheap Jerk seasoning. (Spoiler alert: I’ll NEVER use it again.)

As I started Pie 9.0, I made a mental list of what to worry about. Number 1: Soggy Bottom. The pie crust was not to be half-baked or pre-baked or whatever Mary B. would call it, so I wisely spent a glob of worry-energy to ensure success. Then I read the very weird recipe and saw Pie 9.0 would only have a top crust. Cool! No soggy bottom. (See? Worrying works great!)

Instead of berries and chocolate, the ingredient list said onion and pepper and peas and potatoes. The crust needed butter, of course.

The crust mixed up quite wet and easy to work with. It got to nap in my fridge like all of its ancestors.

The recipe suggested turning on the oven to 400F quite early, when it seemed to me there were a thousand more steps to  span hours, so I delayed adding more heat to my sweltering inferno. I chopped. I stirred. Things were smelling nice. In the other room, DH was watching Sea Biscuit, so I cheered for Spiderman on a lame horse in between my tasks–kept things lively.

The gravy was simple: measure, mix, heat, stir. Then the chicken and rice and veggies and peas and gravy were mixed and simmered while I rolled out the crust.

[I have deleted the pictures of the raw and cooking chicken. They looked a little vulgar. You are welcome.]

In the end, there was so much filling! It had to be at least 8 cups of denseness. There was NO WAY it would fit in my little pie pan, deep-dish or not. But then it did. Volume can be finicky that way.

The crust rolled easily. I flipped it on top of the mush, pushed it down, trimmed and forked the edges, made a broken heart like the picture in the cookbook, and slashed some knife marks to let the steam out. The whole enchilada got an egg wash. Don’t fret–sometime around when Sea Biscuit (aka Pops) broke his leg, I remembered to turn on the oven.

Enough a do. Here he is in all his glory: Pie 9.0, My Husband’s a Jerk Chicken Pot Pie.

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My husband is not a jerk, but he loved this pie. I might be a jerk, but I did not like this pie. Call me if you want the rest of the Jerk seasoning. Free.

Pie 9.0 was served by scooping with a spoon, per the unspoken advice gleaned from a picture in the cookbook. Slicing is not an option without a bottom crust. Add some salt and have a glass of water handy–the Jerk seasoning can sneak up on you.

I am done with savory. Give me sugar. It’s time to go find that raspberry pie recipe, the pretty one. The sweet one.

 

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