Cooking with alcohol is a major part of… well… cooking. Alcohol and it’s acidity brings out the flavor in most dishes the same way salt does. It can take a dish from good to great.

That’s not entirely why I cook with it tho.

I mean that’s the biggest reason just not the ONLY reason.

I cook with alcohol because I have a pre-teen and an infant and my nerves are bad. I add it to everything… whipped cream, lemon butter sauce, stock… name it and I can find a way to add some wine/brandy/cognac into it.

It’s a skill that I have and I’m proud of it. I wouldn’t advise you to let your kids eat at my house or anything tho… There’s probably rum in the cookies.

This Chicken pot pie is a prime example. Pot Pie is in fact peak comfort food,  right up there with macaroni and cheese. So why would I put alcohol in it. It’s a little trick I learned being in the kitchen during thanksgiving.

Sidenote*  Can I just say that Thanksgiving is the best holiday for gossip? When all your aunties get together with the gossip queen aka “Grandma”. I would sit on the floor snapping peas or cutting collards and find out EVERYBODY business!

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A little background on my grandma. She loves Jimmy Swaggert but also can appreciate a little ‘nip’ (wine/alcoholic beverage). She’s the type to pray with you and then go to happy hour, she’s my kinda gal.

Anyway back to the pot pie. She used to add rum to the giblet gravy and it gave it the most unique taste. It’s one of those things that only she can make. No matter how many times I try to recreate it I can only come close to it.

I took that same theory and added cognac to this recipe and it does the same thing.


Chicken Pot Pie



  • 1 to 2 packages frozen puff pastry, biscuit mix, biscuit dough (per package directions)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • medium yellow onion, diced
  • cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • carrots, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the pastry
  • 2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup Cognac or brandy 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or a combination thyme, rosemary and sage), 
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 egg


Preheat oven to 4

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the yellow onion, garlic, celery, mushroom, and carrots. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, cognac, salt, and white pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure you incorporate all the flour.
  6. Simmer until thickened, a few minutes.
  7.  Stir in the heavy cream, thyme, chicken.
  8. Take off heat and give the filling about 5 minutes to thicken.
  9. Put your thawed puff pastry sheets, biscuit topping, or canned biscuits on top of the filling.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.



Now that I think about it… Maybe the whole cooking with alcohol runs in the family.