Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

My husband was out of town last week so I used the opportunity to look into the depths of our freezer and use up food that has been in there for quite awhile. I happen to come across two frozen chicken thighs. After much pondering, and taking into account the cold rainy weather, I decided that those thighs were destined for chicken pot pie.

I have never actually made chicken pot pie before, so I glanced over a few recipes online to get an idea of how to put it together, and came home that evening ready to embark on creating it totally from scratch.

Normally this would be a good meal to use leftover already cooked chicken, but my chicken was not cooked. So, I poached the thighs in chicken broth and saved the broth to use in the sauce. I used a combination of veggies that were in my fridge: lima beans, green beans, corn, peas. A bag of mixed frozen veggies would be the easiest way to go, but I absolutely hate cooked carrots, so I buy veggies individually. I added pesto to the filling and it was all the herb flavoring needed to make this delicious.

I also made a homemade pie crust for the top. Some people swear that pie crusts are extremely hard to make, but for some reason I have always had really good luck. You just have to remember to keep everything cold and to work quickly. I make my pie crusts in the food processor. When done properly I think they can be put together much faster and kept cooler than trying to do it by hand. It is important to make the crust dough before the filling so that it can be put back into the fridge to chill before going on top of the pot pie.

This recipe does take a little time, but it is well worth the effort. If you can plan ahead, say make the pie crust the night before then it will be that much quicker. I was able to put the whole thing together in about 45 minutes and it took another 45 minutes or so to cook in the oven. This is enough filling for a 10 x 7 inch pan which made about 4 servings.

Hope you give this one a try.

Pie Crust
1 ¼ cup flour
1 teas. salt
5 tbs. cold butter, diced
3 tbs. vegetable shortening
1 tbs. vinegar
3 tbs. cold water, more if needed

1. Place four, salt, butter and vegetable shortening in food processor. Pulse the processor on a few times to chop up the butter. The mixture should look like coarse meal.
2. With the motor running, stream in vinegar and water until just incorporated (about 10 seconds). The dough is finished if when you squeeze a handful of dough it stays together. Add more water by the teaspoon full if needed and pulse again. The dough will not be formed together in one cohesive ball at this time.
3. Dump dough onto a floured board and press together to combine. The dough will be a little crumbly, but that’s okay.
4. Form the dough into the relative shape of whatever pan you plan to make the pot pie in. I used a rectangle pan, so I formed by dough into a rectangle. You will roll the dough out later into the proper size.
5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Note: If you don’t have vegetable shortening then you can use 8 tbs. cold butter.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 tbs. oil
1 ½ cups potatoes, peeled and diced small
½ cup diced shallots or onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups frozen vegetables (any combination you like)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 ½ tbs. flour
3 cups stock (I used a combination of chicken and vegetable, but use whatever you have on hand)
2 tbs. pesto
½ cup milk
1 egg, beaten

1. Heat a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add oil. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in potatoes, cook another 7 minutes. Stir often so potatoes don’t stick.
3. Stir in mixed vegetables and chicken. Cook 1 minute.
4. Add flour, stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.
5. Pour in stock. stir well to get rid of any lumps of flour. Bring this mixture up to a simmer. It should begin to thicken. Add a little more stock if it gets to thick.
6. Stir in pesto and milk.
7. Pour mixture into a 10x7 inch pan.
8. Roll out pie crust large enough to cover pan with a little overhang.
9. Brush edge of pan with the beaten egg then place the crust on top. Push the crust down around the edges to seal. Cut off any extra crust. I you want to get fancy you can pinch the crust edge like you would for a pie.
10. Brush top of crust with the beaten egg. Sprinkle top with a little salt.
11. Cut a few vent holes in the crust to let the steam escape.
12. Place on a cooking sheet and cook about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
13. The pot pie is done when the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.


1 comment:

creampuff said...

Mmmmmmmm ... I have been dreaming of chicken pot pie lately! It looks delicious!