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Comfort in a bowl draped with flaky pastry.

While Andrew Carmellini is renowned for his Italian cuisine, his second cookbook, American Flavor, focuses on the diversity of cuisine across the country. From the barbecue in his native Cleveland to the comfort food at his family’s dinner table, American Flavor is a good reminder to always expand your repertoire. Here’s a classic chicken pot pie recipe, in Carmellini’s own words.

Back when I was cooking at Café Boulud, I had a vegetable-truffle pot pie on the menu. It was this rich, yummy veggie dish — but eight times out of 10, people would ask me to add chicken. People just really, really love chicken pot pie. (Sorry, vegetarians: you lose this one.)

Old-school chicken pot pie is made with biscuit dough on top, but I’m not a fan of that: biscuit dough is really heavy, and it gets mushy when it falls into the pie. Nobody, really, likes mushy chicken pot pie. In this recipe, I’ve changed it up. The dough here is more like a cracker — so when you break into the pot pie, you get something a lot like crackers and soup. And who doesn’t like crackers and soup?

My dough is ridiculously easy, but you need to make it the night before: this is definitely a two-step process. And be careful to cut all the vegetables to the same size, so they cook evenly. You don’t want to be biting into undercooked or overmushy veggies.

I like to do the pot pies in individual casseroles, so everybody gets lots of dough, but you can also make it in one big casserole.

Reprinted with permission from American Flavor