This week my dad dropped by to deliver presents, look at Christmas lights and eat dinner. Normally these visits mean steak, but this time I wanted to try something different and decided to make Chicken Pot Pie. I’d never made it before and figured it was the type of thing my dad would like.
Since I needed a no-fail recipe, I started with Ina Garden’s recipe. With over 500 reviews and 5 stars, I couldn’t go wrong.
Final Verdict: This was a solid recipe, but I’m not sure I’d make it again because it was outrageously rich. With rich desserts you have the option to just eat a few bites, but entrees should be more balanced in protein, fat and carbs and this one just wasn’t. The filling has 12 tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of cream and the pastry has 16 tablespoons. Not that everyone would eat a full serving of this, but some people (like my dad) would. So was it good? Yes, in a no-holds-barred splurge type of way. I liked this recipe and it was a lot of fun to make, but I wouldn’t put it in a regular rotation because I like saving room for dessert.
Below is Ina’s recipe with a few notes about what items I used and brands (e.g. chicken broth).
Chicken Pot Pie
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on**
3 tablespoons olive oil (didn’t use this much)
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (Kitchen Basics)
2 chicken bouillon cubes (“Better Than Bouillon” stock base)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups) (used blanched green beans)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (used fewer)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Pastry: Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas (I didn’t use a food processor for the dough). With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
Chicken: Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
Filling: In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute,stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Makes 4 giant servings
**For the chicken I used 3 pre-split breasts (3 large halves on the bone). I think our store-bought chickens are larger than the ones Ina uses because I had plenty of chicken.