Food & Drink

Comfort food with a crust

The homey flavors and textures of chicken pot pie take people back to their youth, even if the pie was a frozen Swanson TV dinner. This delicious culinary staple has been around for nearly 600 years, when scraps of pastry covered stews made of rabbit, fowl and boar.

Today this one-dish wonder is as popular as ever, with recipes that incorporate modern-day shortcuts such as frozen puff pastry sheets and store-bought rotisserie chickens. You can add more vegetables, maybe diced asparagus or artichoke slivers. Or substitute shrimp or salmon fillet, roast pork tenderloin, beef, portobello mushrooms or turkey tenderloins for the chicken.

A heavy, seasoned 12-inch iron skillet is perfect for baking. The skillet holds the heat and the pie stays warm for quite a while. Or use a shallow 3-quart baking dish.

White wine, dill and thyme create a delicate sauce for a shrimp and snap peas version, while curry powder and coconut milk spice up the sauce for an Indian-inspired chicken and apple mixture.