Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

 Is there anything that ranks higher on the comfort food meter than a pot pie?  I didn't think so.  Pot pie is really one of my favorite dishes of all time.  Sure it's basically a chicken soup or beef stew in a crust, but man, something happens to that soup or stew when you add pastry.  It changes from ho hum, albeit delicious, to holy hell that's GOOD stuff!  Just ask anyone, I can pretty much guarantee you that pot pie is a comfort king amongst your friends and families.  Now imagine what a rock star you'll appear to be to those pot pie lovers when you present this fresh baked, home cooked, pure deliciousness of a pie.  And best of all, it's really not that hard to do!

Being a Kitchen Witch, I make my own pie dough.  The food processor makes quick work of it and it's always tasty and delicious.  If you aren't a pastry maker feel free to use refrigerated pie crust, it comes in a red box and you unfold the sheets of pastry and put it into your own pie pan.  If you don't have a pie pan (and that's OK!) get a frozen pie shell for the bottom and use the boxed pastry for the top crust.  Pie plate problem solved!   Look for refrigerated pie crust by the eggs & cheese, that's where it is in my store.

The Witch uses chicken thighs in her pot pie, it makes a richer more flavorful gravy and I like the flavor of dark meat better.  If you like white meat you can use breast meat, however the flavor won't be as rich.  Breast meat is also a lot harder to shred, so you may have to cut it into cubes.  No matter, it'll still be delicious, regardless of the type of chicken you choose to use.  I added a few green beans to this pot pie, they were on sale this week and their bright green pop of color was nice in an otherwise golden pie.  Frozen or fresh peas could be used instead.  As always, add or subtract the veggies based on what your family likes, but a mix of carrots, celery, onion, potato and either bean or peas can't be beat!

Chicken Pot Pie
makes 8 servings, 1 slice each
For Chicken stew filling
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (thighs will be a LOT more flavorful)
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 ribs celery, sliced
1/2 medium onion fine mince
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
1 russet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 in chunks
about 10 green beans sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 t dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 T butter
kosher salt & pepper to taste (about 1.5t salt and 1/4 t pepper)
EITHER 1 t Better than Bullion chicken flavor OR 1 chicken bullion cube OR 1 can chicken broth
6 cups water * if using chicken broth then reduce to 4 cups water
2T corn starch
1 egg for eggwash

For Crust:
4T very cold butter cut into cubes
4T vegetable shortening
2.5 cups flour
1.5 t kosher salt
1/2 c (give or take 2T) ice water

Make crust first by combining flour, salt and fats into a food processor bowl.  Pulse 4 times to cut fat into flour.  Add 1/3 c water, pulse 2-3 times and test to see if it can form a ball by squeezing dough together.  If not add more water, 1T at a time, until dough will stay together when squeezed.

Divide dough into 2 sections, one slightly larger than the other.  Form dough into a disc about 3/4 inch thick and wrap both in plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling out.

Make chicken stew next.  Heat a medium size pan over medium high heat and melt butter.  Once it stops foaming add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic.  Sautee for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and other veggies are starting to soften slightly.  Add the chicken, herbs, salt & pepper and water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Remove the chicken and the bay leaf from the cooking liquid and allow to cool (discard bay leaf).  Add the potatoes to the cooking liquid and cook for 10 minutes.  Potatoes will not be fully cooked.  Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch dissolved into 2T water, making a slurry, add the slurry to the stew stirring well.  Increase heat to a rapid simmer and gravy will begin to thicken considerably.  You want this pretty thick, a lot thicker than normal gravy, so it doesn't just run out of your pot pie.   Once chicken is cool shred it and remove any fat and gristle.  Add chicken and cut green beans to the stew and stir to coat everything.  Turn heat off and set aside.

Roll dough out using the slightly larger disc for the bottom crust.  Place bottom crust into a pie pan and dock (poke with a fork) the bottom and sides slightly to release air while baking.  Fill the crust with the stew.  Roll out remaining disc of dough to make top crust.  Crimp the edges together well.  Brush top with eggwash and cut a few slits in the top dough to release steam.  Place pot pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 45-60 minutes, or until pie is golden browned and gravy is bubbling through the vent slits.  Allow pie to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying!

Nutrition Facts calculated at SparkPeople recipe calculator Amount Per Serving Calories 349.9 Total Fat 16.0 g Saturated Fat 6.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat 3.9 g Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 g Cholesterol 67.5 mg Sodium 787.7 mg Potassium 449.9 mg Total Carbohydrate 37.2 g Dietary Fiber 2.9 g Sugars 1.3 g Protein 13.6 g


Pegasuslegend said...


Big Dude said...

Great looking pot pie Andrea.

Yenta Mary said...

Chicken pot pie is one of the great foods in the universe, and this one is absolutely gorgeous!

Michael Toa said...

Chicken pot pie is one of my favourite comfort foods. Yours looks superb. And with the homemade crust, yum.

StephenC said...

I'm too lazy to make my own crust, but I'm quite happy with the ones from the supermarket. Thighs are the way to go, for sure.

The Mom Chef said...

I am not even worthy to be leaving a comment on this page because of that pie crust. I totally thought it was puffed pastry. It's so flaky and beautiful! Your pot pie looks fantastic and yeah, I've no doubt that you were a rock star with your family when you served that. It's gorgeous.

(I use the thighs as well.)

Jenn said...

That is a thing of beauty, Andrea! And I'm not a huge pot pie fan!! Chris is though.. maybe I'll have to break down and make it for him - I made one for him when we first started dating and it looked nothing like this!!

Cranberry Morning said...

I agree with Jenn- it's a thing of beauty!! Oh that looks delicious. The crust looks amazingly flaky and I can smell those vegetables in gravy. Making me hungry!

Pam said...

There is nothing better than homemade chicken pot pie... yours looks beautiful and delicious.

Ann Minard said...

It looks perfetto!

anthony stemke said...

This is a lovely pot pie, I love the aroma whenever one is made.
Thank You.

Amy said...

This looks like the ultimate comfort dish! Yum!

Jean said...

Andrea, you are sooo right! Nothing more comforting than a good homemade chicken pot pie. Wish I had the ingredients on hand, I'd whip one up this very minute! Love the photo with just a bit of gravy oozing out on the top crust!

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