How to Make Easy Chicken Pot Pie with Flaky Puff Pastry Crust in Less than 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
I know I probably sound a little redundant at the beginning of every season as I drone on and on about how excited I am to start using new seasonal ingredients to make seasonally appropriate dishes. But, it's honestly how I live my life. Flavorful, seasonal and local produce just tastes so much better than anything shipped in from California. So I'm going to go ahead and make my quad-annual speech about how piping hot meals served in individual bakeware makes me all hot (or should I say cold?) for fall and winter. And I'm going to start praising dishes that use seasonally appropriate root vegetables and meats cooked in the oven for long periods of time.
First of all, let me praise the individual bakeware. You can take any old boring casserole, shepherd's pie, pot pie, etc., put it into individual bakeware and, viola!, that's some restaurant quality, gourmet sh**. Just a little trick I learned working in fine dining for almost 8 years. Second, let's talk piping hot. Fall and winter is the time to get those oven's cranked up and leave them on. Not only do you get the benefit of eating hot food that warms your bones, but you also heat your house while the food is cooking. This is the time of year to use your oven, so embrace it. Plus, if you're eating seasonally appropriate (fresh vegetables and fruits in the summer at the peak of their flavors and root vegetables cooked until tender in fall and winter), then your oven probably really missed you over the spring and summer. Poor little oven. All sad and lonely : (
Halloween is on Friday and I'm definitely going to be looking for a savory, warm dish to serve up to my daughter when she comes in from the cold. If you're still looking for something to serve your witches and goblins as they come in from the cold why don't you whip up a couple of these delicious pot pies with root vegetables and chicken in a rich sauce.
- 1 chicken breast
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 small Yukon Gold or red potatoes
- 4 small carrots (or 1 1/2 cup chopped carrots)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup cream, half and half or whole milk
- Frozen puff pastry
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the chicken breast and 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock until the stock is boiling. (If you are increasing the recipe, then use just enough vegetable stock to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/4 inch with liquid.) Then turn heat to medium low, put the lid on the skillet and simmer for 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, cut up the carrots, onions and potatoes and set aside. When the chicken is cooked through remove it from the pan and set it aside to cool. Your pan should have a nice glaze from the evaporated stock (refer to picture below). Turn the heat to medium and put the chopped onion and butter in the pan. Use a spatula to stir the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go. This technique is called "de-glazing" and it will add a delicious rich flavor to the sauce. When the onions are cooked through and the glaze has been scraped from the pan (about 5 minutes of stirring and scraping), add the potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, thyme and remaining stock to the pan. Stir ingredients together and turn the heat to low. Place the lid on the pan and allow to cook for 20 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, pull the puff pastry out of the refrigerator so it can de-thaw just a little. You want it to still be mostly frozen when it's time to use it, but pliable. After 20 minutes the potatoes and carrots should be fork tender, but not too soft. Add the frozen peas to the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir into the sauce. Add the cream to the pan and stir. Now put the chicken and vegetable filling into one oven safe baking dish or into individual oven safe dishes. Cut the puff pastry to fit the dish you are using. As you can see from my photo, I wasn't very exact with the puff pastry, but you can be as exacting as suits you. Brush the puff pastry with half and half, cream or milk. Bake the pot pie on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the puff pastry is a golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Isn't this beautiful? Delicious and flavorful glazed pan.
Now use those onions and butter to scrape that deliciousness from the pan. You just learned a new technique! "De-Glazing!"