Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Growing up, Stouffer's was our family's pot pie of choice. Then a number of years ago, our good friends Jo and Eric introduced us to the possibility of delicious, homemade pot pies made with extreme amounts of butter. This recipe, while different, is definitely not lacking in flavor or butter. Underneath the flaky, but tender crust is a creamy sauce loaded with chicken and veggies.

While it takes a bit of time to put together, it blows boxed pot pie out of the water. The recipe makes a lot of pot pies, and that's a great thing because they can be frozen and reheated for an easy dinner at a later date. They would also make a great dinner for new parents, or a freezer meal for someone who has lost a loved one. And who doesn't love a flaky crust??

Some notes about the recipe:
  • We doubled the filling and sauce, but only had to one-and-a-half times the crust.
  • I reduced the amount of flour in the sauce based on some reviews I read, but I won't do that again next time as the sauce thinned out while in the oven. The recipe below has the correct measurements.
  • I omitted the chopped red bell pepper from the filling.
  • Annie didn't include salt and pepper measurements, so I had to add to taste. Don't be afraid... you can do it without a measurement too. :)
  • For the crust, either use frozen unsalted butter, or cut the butter as the recipe indicates, but then place in the freezer to keep it super chilled. It helps make a really nice, flaky crust.
Chicken Pot Pie
Yield: 6-8 pot pies (depending on the size of the dishes you use)
For the filling:
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large russett potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I omitted this)
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 purchased rotisserie chicken, or 3 c. chopped / shredded chicken
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas and carrots
For the sauce:
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the crust:
  • 16 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  •  I lg. egg (for egg wash)
To make the filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and potato to the pan, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook for about 15 minutes more, until the potatoes are tender. While the vegetables are cooking, remove the skin from the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Once the vegetables are finished cooking, turn off the heat and mix in the chicken and the frozen peas and carrots. Stir in the red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken broth and cook over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Mix in the cream (if using), the hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken and veggie mixture and stir to combine well. Spoon the mixture into 6-8 individual oven-safe dishes (such as ramekins).

Preheat the oven to 375° F. To make the crust, cut the butter into 16 pieces. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt and pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut out dough rounds to be about 1½ inches larger than the diameter of your pot pie dishes. Lay the dough rounds on top of the individual dishes. Beat the egg with a whisk, and brush the tops of the dough rounds lightly with the beaten egg.

Place the pot pie dishes on a baking sheet for easy transfer in and out of the oven. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

The finished pies can be frozen after baking, and taste just as good as fresh. Simply thaw in the refrigerator during the day and then reheat in the the oven at 350° F for 30-40 minutes. If baking straight from the freezer, bake at 400˚ F for 45-60 minutes.

Source: Annie's Eats

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