my next “ode to chicken stock
” recipe is the humble chicken pot pie. before i started making these my own way, i tried a lot of different recipes. they all seemed to have one thing in common…time consuming steps and lots of them. my recipe cuts through all the hassle with all of the rewards of a homemade pot pie. you don’t have to make your own pastry dough, but i encourage you to at least give my recipe a try. it’s easy peasy
and you can’t beat the taste of “homemade”. i have a feeling that once you try it, you’ll be using your new knack for making perfect pastry dough all the time. whenever i make my pot pies, i always make an extra to freeze. they keep for about 3 months, but i don’t think you’ll wait that long to pop it in the oven on a busy night. tonight, i’m
making 2 individual sized pies for the husband and i to eat for dinner and one 1-1/2 quart casserole for later this month.
chicken pot pie (makes 4 individual casseroles)
1 stick unsalted butter
4 celery ribs, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock (keep warm on the stove)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 roasted chicken breasts, cubed*
5 oz frozen peas (half bag)
3 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
egg wash (one egg beaten with a little water)
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 375 degrees. melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan. on med-high, saute the celery, carrots and onions in the butter just until the onion is soft. season with salt and pepper. add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. cook, stirring occasionally, until the roux smells nutty and the flour taste is gone. this will take about 5 to 7 minutes. add the warm chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. add the potatoes and simmer on med-low for about 10 minutes, just until the potatoes start to get tender. check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. take off heat and add the cooked chicken, peas, and chopped parsley. ladle the filling into 4 individual casserole dishes and let cool. cover each casserole with the rolled pastry and crimp the edges with your fingers to make a nice crust. (there is no need to glue the dough to the sides of your casserole with egg wash. i find that the crust is too hard to break off if you do this.) brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cut 3 small slits to let steam escape while baking. place casseroles on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. (if you are freezing the pot pies, don’t bake first. wrap them in several layers of plastic wrap and freeze them for up to 3 months).
*i cook my chicken breasts on the bone, rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh rosemary and salt and pepper in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. you can do this a day ahead or use a store bought rotisserie chicken.
pastry dough (makes enough for four 9 inch pie shells)
1 stick of ice-cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon kosher salt
(to make this pastry for desserts, add 1 tablespoon of sugar)
3 cups all purpose flour
in a food processor, pulse the butter, shortening, salt and flour until it is coarsely blended. with the food processor running, pour in the ice water just until the dough forms itself into a ball. wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1/2 hour. you can make this dough the night before or freeze it for up to 3 months.
when these pot pies come out of the oven, it will take all of your self-control to wait for them to cool down a bit before digging in. and even better than the way they taste is the knowledge that there is one waiting for you in the freezer! happy eating.