I've been making this simple twist on old-school potpie for my kiddos since they were toddlers. My version is based on a generous amount of chicken stew with a somewhat soupy consistency that makes it perfect for ladling on top of mashed potatoes.
Technique tip: Your 9- by 13-inch baking pan needs to be at least 3 inches deep to fit all of the stew. If your pan is shallower, pour in the stew until it is about 1 inch from the top of the pan and keep the remaining stew warm on the stovetop. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Swap option: Instead of the refrigerated crescent rolls, you can use my go-to biscuit dough. Leave about 1½ inches between the stew and the top of the pan. Use a 1-ounce scoop or two soup spoons to drop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough to cover the surface of the stew. Bake until the topping is browned, 35 to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.2.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion (if using) and sauté until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot.3.
Whisk in the chicken broth and continue whisking until the flour is fully incorporated. Stir in the chicken soup. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.4.
Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken and frozen peas. Taste and season if necessary with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.5.
Open one can of crescent dough and unroll the contents onto a surface. Press the perforations together inside each rectangle to make a single rectangle. Set it on top of the stew in the pan, flush against one long side; it will cover about two-thirds of the surface. Open the second can of crescent dough and unroll the contents onto a surface. Set aside half of the dough. Press the perforations together inside the two remaining rectangles to make one long rectangle. Place it on the uncovered part of the stew, easing it into the space without overlapping it with the dough that is already there. Tuck the corners and edges in if necessary. The dough should fit pretty neatly on top without needing to crimp the edges (if desired, form small crescent rolls with the remaining dough and bake them separately).6.
Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the stew is bubbling around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.7.
For each serving, place mashed potatoes in the center of a shallow pasta plate and spoon over a generous amount of stew and crust, so that the potatoes are completely covered. Serve.
From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2018 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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