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Chicken Pot Pie

by on December 19, 2010 · 15 comments

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.

Chicken Pot Pie

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

Pastry:
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

Chicken:
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on**
3 tablespoons olive oil (didn’t use this much)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Filling:
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.

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Published on December 19, 2010

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Carole December 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

I am making chicken breastd for dinner tonight. I will make a few extra so I have chicken for the pot pie. Think I will make my life easy and use a prepared crust. May make I large rather than 4 individual. I may even use less oniopns than you did.

Lisa Ernst December 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

Ina Garten is a master of great tasting food and I’ve definitely observed that one of her tricks is not holding back at all on the fat. I agree that, while this would be a fantastic thing to eat (I’d make mine vegetarian) I’d rather eat a healthy meal and save my splurge for a great dessert. I do miss the pot pies I ate as a kid, and I’m sure this one was fun to try once.

Louise December 19, 2010 at 11:56 am

The chefs follow the philosophy of “Fat is Flavor”. While that’s certainly true, I’m with you and would rather tone it down a little. My sister had this chicken pot pie recently at a friend’s house and while she liked it, she said it was just too much.

Sue December 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Your chicken pot pie looks fantastic! I’m with you though on the richness. It’s a no holds barred splurge, and for day to day eating you’ve gotta get in more healthy nutrition per calorie. Aren’t you glad you tried it though?

Nancy December 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I hate to admit it, but I used to love those frozen chicken pot pies when I was a kid! They weren’t overly filling, but definitely hit the spot on a cold winter night! As much as I’d like to try to make this recipe, I don’t think I would like the heaviness of it. It looks beautiful though!

Emily December 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I loved the frozen pot pies when I was a kid too! I think Swanson made them? Mmm. :)

Ronda December 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm

(still loves frozen pot pies!…) :-/
For awhile you could get potato topped pot pies, those were my FAVE!

While that recipe looks good, it seems like overkill. You can’t possibly need that much fat for it to taste good! Pot pie is pretty much my go-to comfort food, on a cold winter night! Yum!

Katrina December 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I’ve seen Ina make this on her show and it does certainly look rich and more like a splurge. I’m with you though, eat a simple healthy dinner so there’s room for dessert! ;)

johngl December 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Forgive me, but pot pie flavored cookies or cupcakes just don’t do it for me.

Yes, yes, I’m kidding. I love pot pies. :-)

And I’m sorry I haven’t dropped in for a while.

briarrose December 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

Yummy!

Kath December 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

The chicken pot pies my friend routinely beg me to make are a version of Rebecca Rather’s recipe from the Pastry Queen cookbook. They are awesome! I’ve had them in her restaurant in Fredericksburg, Texas and the homemade version using her recipe is just as good. I tend to vary the vegetables based on what I have and just dice them up and add at the saute stage. I usually omit the cream and use skim milk or evap milk if I think it needs to thin out and to make it a little healthier. The hot sauce is key to this and adds just the right amount of flavor but doesn’t make it spicy – so don’t be scared of it.

All-Sold Out Chicken Pot Pies
Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Yield: 6 servings

Filling:

•3 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
•1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 red bell pepper, diced
•8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
•1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled
•8 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
•1 (8-ounce) package frozen peas (optional)
Sauce:

•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
•1 cup all-purpose flour
•2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
•Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
•Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Crust:

•1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•10 ounces chilled cream cheese
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
•1 large egg
1. To Make The Filling: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.

2. While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones, and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

3. Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl, and add enough water to cover. Cover the dish and microwave on high power about 10 minutes, until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly.

4. Stir the beans, peas, and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.

5. 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 stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste.

6. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine.

7. Fill individual 1 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.

8. To Make The Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the butter into 16 pieces. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.

9. Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls–mine are about 4 inches across–and cut out dough rounds that are 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Louise December 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

We had a “premium” brand of pot pies. They were large, like “adult” size, with chunks of chicken. They were Myers brand, which makes me think they were Pennsylvania Dutch. ;-)

Aga December 21, 2010 at 2:45 am

Yeeees! That’s the only recipe I ever use! Nothing can beat this one! I even posted it on my blog some time ago… :)

x

Louise December 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Last night I fully intended to make Chicken Posole for dinner. Somehow I took a turn and made The Pastry Queen’s All Sold Out Chicken Pot Pie. It was delicious, but I’m so glad my husband has no idea how much butter he ate.

Carole December 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I made your chicken pot pie recipe last night. However, I poached the chicken with some fresh herbs and peppercorns. And, Imade 1 large rather than 4 individual pies.

Lot of work but worth the effort.

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