Friday, October 1, 2010
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is one of my favorite meals to make for many reasons: it's easy, all the kids eat it, it's delicious, but most importantly, you can make a lot at once and freeze the extras. The extras come in handy on nights when there just isn't time to make a healthy meal or I'm just feeling like I'm going to topple over- I can just reach in the freezer, pull one out, and pop it in the oven.
I have an all time favorite recipe that I found in my Cook's Illustrated Make Ahead Meals cookbook (go figure)- but recently, on Annie's Eats, I stumbled across another recipe I was dying to try. With a combination of the two, I have found one darn good chicken pot pie that in my opinion, is super easy to make. I have always made my own pie crusts, and I know people that are just too afraid to go there, afterall, rolling out a crust can be very tricky. This crust recipe is a no brainer, it's so easy to make and tastes great too!
1 large potato
2 small carrots (or 1 large japanese carrot)
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium onion
2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
6 TBSP butter
1/2 cup flour
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 sticks butter (16 TBSP) room temperature
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz. cream cheese
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Peel the potato and carrot, dice into small pieces, place in a saucepan with 2 TBSP butter and 2 tsp thyme, and saute- stirring frequently, until they are cooked through (about 15 minutes or 20 if you like them softer).
For the filling, melt butter in large saucepan over medium low heat, finely chop the onion and add it in, with a dash of salt. Saute the onion until cooked, about 7 min. Add in flour, make a paste- stir until becomes tan and crumbly. Whisk in the chicken stock and stir constantly over medium heat until there are no lumps. Slowly add in cream. Heat mixture over medium until thickens slightly, like a cream soup- if it's too thick, you can add a bit more chicken stock to thin it out. Add in your raw chicken and cook in the sauce mixture about 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. When chicken is cooked through, remove from pan and cut into bite sized pieces, then add back in. (An alternative to this is if you have leftover pre cooked chicken, or you buy a precooked rotisserie chicken, you can just rip up the pieces and add them into the sauce).
Add the cooked veggies, and frozen peas to the sauce mixture. Pour the filling into your pie dishes.
For the crust, put the butter, cut up into 1 TBSP sized pieces into your mixer with the flour. Using the dough hook, mix together, until the flour looks like pea sized crumbs, you might need to stop once to scrape the sides. Once the butter and flour are combined, add the 1/2 tsp salt and the cream cheese, turn the mixer back on and let it mix until the mixture forms a smooth ball on the hook. Remove dough from hook. Roll balls from the dough for the number of pies you are making. I made 6 individual and one small family sized one, so I rolled 6 small balls and 1 big one. On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls out with a rolling pin to about 1 inch wider than your dishes (should be on the thick side, like 1/4 inch thick). Place the dough on top of your dish and press down around the outside edges, should be about a 1 inch overhang.
I cooked my individual ones on a cookie sheet, so I wouldn't have to wrestle all the little dishes out of the oven and in case there was overflow. I put the crust on the large pie and put saran wrap on it and stuck it in the freezer for another time.
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!