Cooking instructions for frozen pot pie
And no, the answer is not, "Just check what Banquet printed on the box!" ;)
Thanks to other posters here, I've decided on the meals I'm taking to a friend whose family is going through a rough patch right now. One of them has me a little stumped. I made two 9" deep dish chicken pot pies, which I'd normally just bake at 400 for about half an hour till the pastry (regular pie crust) is brown and the filling is bubbling.
But to deliver them, I'm freezing the pot pies. How long and at what temperature should I instruct the family to cook them? Should they thaw during the day, then bake as normal, or is there a rule of thumb for what to do with frozen items like this?
I made frozen pot pies for my mom's freezer in those small, disposable aluminum loaf pans. I made mine with only a top crust. Did you as well? Mom discovered that the best way to reheat them without having the pastry burn was to thaw them completely in the fridge before reheating them in the toaster oven. I'm not sure at what temp or for how long. I'll ask her tonight and see if she remembers. But thawing them first was definitely the key to reheating while maintaining the quality of the crust.
I'm not absolutely sure what you mean by "deep dish," but assuming that (since you're giving them away) you mean a store bought frozen deep dish single crust pie shell with the chicken filling and a top crust added, then frozen, I would go with reducing the oven heat to 375F and increasing the cook time to somewhere around an hour in order to allow time for the filling to thaw all the way while the crust doesn't scorch. But if they take it out of the oven when the filling is not fully heated, it's not like the filling will have any raw ingredients in it that will make them sick, right? And at that point, if the crust is brown but the filling just isn't quite hot enough, no problem if they nuke it a bit.
What a kind and thoughtful person you are!
Caroline, I should have specified the pan: It's one of those disposable ones they call "deep dish," which is probably about 1 1/2 inches deep or so with more vertical sides than the usual aluminum pie plate. I did my own crust, but I think the end result would be about the same as the premade (though I think my crust is probably a bit thicker).
375 for an hour sounds pretty good. And yes, all the insides are fully cooked. I'll tell them to watch the crust and have a tent of foil ready if it gets too brown too fast. This is uncharted territory for me!