Willow Tree is delighted to receive the following review of our chicken pie from Eat and Sip in the City blog author, Michelle Levine. For the original article, click here.
By Michelle Levine, author of Eat and Sip in the City
Willow Tree Poultry farm, located in Attleboro, Massachusetts, is loved for making everyone’s favorite comfort food, pot pies, perfect for the winter weather or any time of year. Available in three kinds, which include original, classic with vegetables, and chicken pot pie with red bliss potatoes, there is something for everyone. On a chilly Sunday, I finally got a taste of the New England favorite, which was established in 1954.
Ready to bake from your freezer
I enjoyed the classic pot pie featuring vegetables, which had three servings and was under 300 calories for a serving. They take premium white meat chicken and create a pot pie with home-style gravy, classic vegetables including peas, corn, green beans, and carrots, along with a flaky crust.
You keep the pot pie in your freezer until you are ready to bake and in one hour and fifteen minutes in a 400 degree oven, you have yourself a meal you will look forward to. Just place it on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil for easy clean up (since the sauce can bubble over the pie plate). I didn’t have milk on hand, which they recommend for a darker crust, but I thought the crust was just right.
The ingredients are kept simple and wholesome. The filling of the pie has the veggies and chicken broth, thickened up with flour and flavored with margarine, onion powder, and salt to name a few ingredients. The crust is a basic recipe with items such as flour, shortening, milk, and oil listed to create the top of the pie.
Flaky brown crust + creamy hearty filling = the perfect chicken pie
I was so impressed with the chunks of chicken. Huge pieces fill the pie and easily shred with your fork.
Jam packed with veggies
I served it alongside white rice on a plate but next time would love it piled on top of the rice in a bowl instead, so I can scoop up every last drop of the creamy warm treat! It’s the perfect staple to stock in your freezer for a hearty meal, any time of day, when you don’t want to cook or venture out in the cold weather.
Rice compliments the meal and the chicken is the star of the show
When you think about what makes a “stick to your ribs” chicken pie so satisfying, usually flaky crust and big chunks of chicken come to mind. But one key ingredient that is strong enough to stand on its own – the ingredient that really makes “the difference” — is the gravy!
According to Willow Tree Farm President, Wally Cekala, “We do make a ‘from scratch’ gravy – using a rue to thicken it. It’s really old fashioned.” Willow Tree gravy has been a complimentary ingredient to chicken pies since 1954, but more recently fresh, ready-to-eat gravy, has become available in both chicken and turkey varieties. And it’s been very well-received.
Willow Tree cooks over 25,000 pounds of chicken per day, on the bone, providing a lot of broth from which to make fresh gravy. If a company doesn’t have this kind of cooking operation, they might have to turn to packaged gravy mix, and the results simply don’t taste homemade.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Levine
Food blogger Michelle Levine, who recently reviewed Willow Tree’s Chicken Pie with Classic Vegetables, described it very accurately. Instead of just mentioning gravy in the filling as such, she described, “The filling of the pie has the veggies and chicken broth, thickened up with flour and flavored with margarine, onion powder, and salt to name a few ingredients.”
Ask anyone who is responsible for holiday cooking and they’ll tell you that gravy is highly-anticipated by guests, but it’s very stressful to make. It has to be put together at the last minute, only when poultry drippings are ready, and it’s almost impossible to make the same way twice. You can master it one time, and mess it up the next. You never know what you’re going to get. But Willow Tree gravy gives folks the peace of mind of having perfect gravy ready on the spot.
We really appreciate when customers post quotes like this on our Facebook or Twitter pages. We tend to see a lot of this around the holidays:
“Where have you been all my life?? I just bought your Turkey Gravy and it is the BEST ever! Sensational!”
“Because it’s usually sold in the ‘ready-to-eat’ section of many New England grocery chains such as BigY, DeMoulas, and Stop & Shop, customers tend to use it on anything they want, not just chicken.”
– Wally Cekala, President, Willow Tree Farm
A Warm Reception from Food Bloggers
“My favorite pie of the three, is Chicken Pie with Red Bliss Potatoes! The perfect size potatoes are baked to perfection and covered in creamy gravy. It feels like velvet in your mouth.”
– Marla from SavingUGreen.blogspot.com
“I served it alongside white rice on a plate but next time would love it piled on top of the rice in a bowl instead, so I can scoop up every last drop of the creamy warm treat! It’s the perfect staple to stock in your freezer for a hearty meal, any time of day, when you don’t want to cook or venture out in the cold weather.”