I had made pesto with some leftover fresh basil I bought at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, intent on using it for a recipe for Chicken Pesto Pot Pies I saw in the fall issue of Our Compliments magazine. I finally had the chance this weekend.
We cheated with the potatoes, and used the store-bought powdered variety as directed in the recipe, but as we were using made-from-scratch pesto and cooking the chicken ourselves, I figured it was a fair trade off. We bought individual aluminum pie plates, and once we tossed the filling together, we divided the coated vegetables and chicken between the containers and topped them with scoops of mashed potatoes. We baked them for just under half an hour, and they were done, sizzling with some of the excess olive oil in the pesto and smelling wonderful.
Though the surface of the pies didn’t get as brown as they did in the magazine photo, the top of the potato round was somewhat crusty. The pies were essentially a shepherd’s pie made with pesto instead of gravy, but while I can’t say that the pesto flavour was distinct, these pies tasted lighter because of the gravy substitution – and had the benefit of a vibrant green color instead of a drab brown tinge.
We had a few leftover pies for supper the next night too, and as indicated in the recipe, these are great to make in advance and freeze for emergencies. I will be making them again.
Chicken Pesto Pot Pie