I last made pot pies in late winter and wasn't totally satisfied with the results. It was good, but I knew I could do better. So naturally, I decided to challenge myself. I looked at a number of recipes online and found a bunch of elements that I liked and decided to combine my favorite from each.
The crust is Ina Garten's recipe. I don't do well with whipping up pastries and baked goods on the fly like so many others, so using a tried and true recipe was a better bet for me. Maybe some day I'll feel strong enough to play with my own dough recipe, but for now Ina is my girl.
This is a really filling, thick meal and it's perfect for cold nights. It's a little intensive for a weeknight meal, but if you can make the dough one night and the pie filling the next, you're a better, more prepared human being than I.
Chicken Pot Pie
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 c. chicken stock
1 T. demi-glace/Better Than Boullion
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
6 T. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
3/4 all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. heavy cream
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. frozen corn
1 T. dried thyme
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 c. ice water
1 egg mixed with 1 T. water (egg wash)
Poach chicken breasts in enough water to cover by one inch. Bring water to a boil, add chicken, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pastry. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor fitted with the mixing/metal blade. Add the shortening and butter coat quickly using your hands to coat each piece with flour. Pulse 10-15 times until butter and shortening are the size of peas. Set the food processor to run and add the water until the dough just comes together--not too dry, not too moist. Throw out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
When chicken is cooked, drain and remove to a board and allow it to cool just long enough for it to be easy to handle without burning your fingers. Dice up the chicken into cubes and allow to rest.
Heat chicken stock to a gentle simmer and stir in the demi-glace. When chicken stock is going, add the carrots and allow them to simmer with the stock and absorb some of the stock.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat and stir constantly for 2 minutes until all lumps are gone and you have a thick roux. Season with salt and pepper and add roux to simmering pot of stock. Mix well. Add cream and stir 2 minutes, constantly, until thick.
Add chicken to pot, followed by celery, peas, corn, and thyme. Mix well and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish (a large one works best).
Heat oven to 400 F.
Remove pastry crust from fridge, and dump onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness and carefully roll onto the casserole. Crimp the dough over the sides of the casserole. Cut a few slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape, and brush with the egg wash. Cook for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
- This is pretty labor intensive, but it's a good one to make ahead and freeze.
- The vegetables will be crisp-tender when you take the pie out of the oven. I liked them that way, but I have a texture thing and I don't really like when vegetables are mushy. If you prefer them softer, saute them in the butter when you saute the onion.
- Broccoli florets will also work well in this but I didn't have any laying around.
- I really preferred this to my last attempt at chicken pot pie, and it's an awesome comfort food for the winter.