Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

During the holiday season, with all of the sweets that are around, I sometimes just crave something savory. I am thinking about a chicken pot pie right about now.

I have made this recipe a few times. Those at the table quickly earned memberships to the "clean plate club."

One thing I love about this recipe is that I can make the filling a day in advance and then bake the individual pot pies just prior to serving. This cuts down on all of that dinner party stress that gets me really cranky. Serve these with an easy appetizer, a really nice green salad and homemade ice cream or sorbet for dessert and you are in business.

I baked these in these little individual mini Dutch ovens.  I love them because they are so cute, and they also keep the pot pies super hot. You can also use 2 cup souffle dishes to make these pies.

Because the cast iron Dutch ovens are so hot, I like to serve them on a large salad plate topped with a couple of super pretty cloth or paper (gasp!!) cocktail napkins under the ovens. This will protect your table as well as your plate, and won't look like you are serving dinner on trivets.


Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 4, but I usually have lots of leftovers.

Filling

6 half chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (see note at the bottom of this post)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
40 ounces of low sodium chicken stock
2 T chicken demi glace or two envelopes of Swanson Chicken Flavor Boost
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 large onions, chopped
3/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 C heavy cream
3 T dry sherry
2 T Signature Secrets from King Arthur Flour (optional, not necessary for this recipe)
2 C diced carrots (about 3/8 inch), blanched for about 2 minutes
1 10 ounce package of frozen peas
1 1/2 C frozen pearl onions
1 1/2 T chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 C minced fresh parsley

Pie Dough

You can either make your own pastry, use store bought pre-made pie crusts (Pillsbury is my favorite brand, do not use generic.. trust me on this), or frozen puff pastry. Here is a suggested recipe:

3 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C shortening or lard
1 stick unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 C iced water
1 egg beaten with 1 T water (for egg wash)
Flaked sea or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



Instructions


To make the filling:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Put the chicken breasts on a rimmed baking sheet, rub them with olive oil, and generously sprinkle them with salt and pepper. 
Bake the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes until they are cooked through.
When they are cool enough to work with, remove the bones and skin. 
Cut the chicken into dice-sized squares. 
Heat the stock and the demi glace in a medium sauce pan.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot and add the onions. Saute the onions in the butter over low to medium heat, stirring regularly, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour to the onions and cook at low temperature stirring constantly for about two minutes. Stir in the chicken stock mixture and cook for one minute while stirring, until it thickens. 
Add the salt, pepper, heavy cream, and sherry.
Add the chicken, carrots, peas, onions, thyme, and parsley and stir to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. 

To make the pie crust:

In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients. Add the fat and pulse until the fat is about the size of peas, about 10 times. Add the water with the motor running and process until the dough just comes together. 
Remove the dough and quickly knead it into a ball by hand. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Assemble the pot pies:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place four two cup oven proof bowls, ramekins, or mini Dutch ovens on a rimmed baking sheet. 
Fill the bowls with the filling.
Divide the dough into four pieces and roll the pieces out into circles larger than the tops of the bowls. 
Brush the edges of the bowls with egg wash and place the dough on top, tucking the dough around the top rim of the bowl. 
Brush the dough with the rest of the egg wash and sprinkle with sea or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
Make 3 slits in the top of each pie. 
Bake for one hour. The tops should be golden brown.



Make ahead note:
You can make the filling and the dough the day before and refrigerate them until the next day. 
Remove the dough and filling from the refrigerator about ten minutes before assembling the pies. Assemble as described above. 

Leftover note:
I think these would be great with leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. You will need 4 to 6 cups of cubed turkey. You might want to add a little fresh rosemary and sage too.

Note about chicken breasts:
If you can only find boneless skinless chicken breasts, wrap them in salt port prior to baking. This will compensate for the lack of skin and bone. Keep an eye on them to adjust the cooking time.

Recipe inspired and adapted from Barefoot Contessa Chicken Pot Pie, 2005





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