Chicken Pot Pie


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Who hasn’t grown up with chicken pot pie? I think it was one of my mom’s classic recipes. Whether she developed it on her own or with help of the old classic, Joy of Cooking, I don’t know. Doesn’t matter, it was still a favorite of mine as a young lad.

Even today, chicken pot pie remains one of my favorite comfort dishes, although I’ve tweaked it a bit since those days of old. I still start with a classic velouté base, but the ingredients will vary depending on what I have in the fridge. Celery, carrots and pearl onions are standard, but sometimes I’ll add fresh crimini mushrooms and corn, or leeks. It just depends/

The recipe for chicken pot pie I have below is based on an old recipe from Jacques Pépin which he developed during his time at Howard Johnson. I have always admired Jacques Pépin and how he has transformed cooking and cuisine here in the U.S., and it’s always been a treat to see him at the International Culinary Center in Soho demonstrating basic skills.

I should mention that the iteration which you can see in the photos below actually uses turkey as I had it leftover from Christmas dinner. As with many of my recipes, it takes a while to get them up on this site. First, I tend to just cook the dish forgetting to measure the ingredients (I use ratios), next I make the dish again measuring out each ingredient to make a recipe, and then usually tweak different measurements to get the taste or amount just right, writing down as I go. It’s a fun process 🙂

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Chicken (Turkey) Pot Pie
Makes 4 x 6” sized pot pies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken or turkey breast, boneless
  • 1 Tbsp. + 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 13 ounces corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 x 9 ounces all-butter puff pastry, chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. To prepare the chicken, place in a medium saucepan with water, add a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1/2″ to 3/4″), transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. In the medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, then add pearl onions and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 420°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter, add sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, add thyme and cook, stirring frequently until the mushrooms release water, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to low, cook another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  4. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter and slowly add 4 tablespoons flour, stirring frequently until a paste or a roux forms. Continue stirring for about 2-3 minutes until the flour taste disappears. Slowly whisk in chicken stock, a quarter cup at a time. Bring the sauce or velouté to a simmer then slowly whisk in the cream. Add salt, to taste.
  5. Add the tarragon, mushrooms, corn, carrots, celery onions and chicken to the velouté, stir and let simmer for 3 minutes. Pour mixture into four 6″ cast iron bowls or other baking dish.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the puff pastry sheet and cut 1″ larger than the shape of the baking dish(s). Brush the inner and outer rim of the baking dish with the egg wash and drape the pastry over the bowls. Press the overhanging or excess puff pastry to the outside of the bowls to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut three diagonal slits in the top to allow the pot pie to vent while cooking. Brush with tops with the egg wash.
  7. Place the cast iron bowls (or other baking dish) on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake another 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Bon Appétit!

 

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