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Friday
Oct212011

Chicken Pot Pie!

There are loads of great recipes out there for this dish.  Feel free to let your imagination run with the filling and consider substituting the peas and potatoes for more sophisticated flavors such as fennel, radish, turnip or butternut squash.  Don't be afraid to also seek out crust alternatives (even though I believe the whole world would be a better place if it was covered in puff pastry) such as traditional pie crust, mashed potatoes or cheddar biscuit.  Its tough to mess up this dish so take some chances!!!!  

Also, I made these in Staub Cocottes (oven proof individual dutch ovens) from Williams Sonoma.  Feel free to use any oven proof individual bowls, a large glass pie plate, or 9x13 lasagna pan.

 

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 5 T olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (I prefer thighs but you can use breast meat)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms (crimini or baby bella work best; get pre-sliced to make it easy)
  • 1 1/2 c frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick 
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c AP (all purpose) flour
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • 1 c half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 lb red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 1/4 c dry sherry
  • 2 T fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 T dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, as desired

For the crust:  

  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed (this can be found in the freezer aisle)
  • 1 egg

 

Directions

Make the filling:  Salt and pepper chicken on both sides, generously.  Begin to cook chicken by heating olive oil in 7-8 qt dutch oven (or large pot) over medium high heat and browning chicken on both sides, 4-5 minutes on each side  (you should do this in two batches).  Transfer chicken to cutting board and cut into small chunks (3/4 to 1 inch pieces).  Note- it is fine if the chicken is not fully cooked here, it will finish cooking later.  

Add 1 T olive oil to the same pot and add the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally until well browned, 3-4 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to bowl with chicken.  

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil, onions and carrots.  Cook, stirring occasionally until edges are browned, 8 - 10 minutes.  Transfer to bowl with chicken and mushrooms.  

(Repeat the vegetable browning process if using radish, fennel, turnip or squash) 

In the same pot, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the flour and whisk constantly until the texture, which will be clumpy at first, smooths out (this becomes your "roux").  To this, add chicken broth and cream.  Bring to boil, whisking constantly(scraping up any browned bits) over medium high heat.  Liquid should thicken to a gravy consistency.  Reduce heat to low and add the potatoes, chicken and vegetables.  Partially cover pot and simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender, 15 - 20 minutes.  Stir in peas, sherry, poultry seasoning, thyme, sage and mustard.  Taste and season as appropriate with salt and pepper.  This can be made and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before proceeding to next step.  

Putting the pie together:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Distribute filling evenly among oven proof bowls or add it in entirety to large pie plate or 9x13 lasagna dish.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick rectangle (if using individual bowls or lasagna dish.  Obviously roll a circle if using a pie plate).  Cut circles of the dough that are slightly wider than the diameter of the oven proof bowl.  Top each bowl of stew with dough round and lightly press it around the edges.  Cut a slit  in the top of dough so moisture can escape.  Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash.  

Place pies on top of a cookie sheet to avoid oven mess.  Put the pies in oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool on rack before serving- filling will be HOT!.  

 

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