Monday, September 05, 2011

Foodie Friday: Individual Chicken Pot Pies

(sorry this post is late!)  One of my favorite meals to make is chicken pot pie, the ultimate comfort food.  Usually I make one large one in an oval baking dish, but recently I made 6 individual ones..and it was fun!   I do have to let you know now, though...this is NOT an uncomplicated, finish in 30 minutes recipe.   None of it is hard to do, but it just takes time and has a lot of steps.  But a really great thing is that these freeze so well.  You could make a bunch at once, freeze them, and have pot pies ready to bake that are 1000 times better than Swanson's or Marie Callender's!

The first photo at the top shows the filling items that go in the chicken pot pies.  I kept everything separated because each of the individual pies had different filling choices.  I made these for some picky nephews, so I let them tell me which of the fillings they'd like in their pies - a lot easier than picking out what they don't want to eat.   I roasted different veggies (biased sliced carrots, potato chunks, halved mushrooms), chicken breasts, and then had bags of frozen peas and corn.    After the veggies and chicken were all finished roasting, I put them in one pan together.  (I did not cook them this need much more room than this)   I also made a recipe for a double pie crust.  If you want to use store-bought, that is just fine and it will work.  But homemade butter pie crust is really easy to make in a food processor and tastes so, so good.   I sprayed each of the little pie tins with non-stick spray then cut out a little disk of dough to put in the bottom of the pan.  You could line the entire pie pan with crust if you like, but these were small and I wanted to be able to put a lot of filling in them.   Cut around the upside pan edge with a knife for the top crust.   Put the disc of crust in the pan, fill with the liquid filling and filling veggies/chicken of your choice, then finish with the top crust, pressing down crust edges with your fingers or a fork.   (photo shows Jack's pie...he only wanted chicken, corn and potatoes)  You must have vent holes in the top of the crust so the pie doesn't explode, so you might as well make it fun with a happy face.  :)   You could also do initials, a heart, anything!

Of course, I forgot to take a baked pot pie photo, but they are really beautiful with a nice flaky crust.  Just picture that. :)   If you are going to freeze them, just wrap in tight foil and freeze the unbaked pies.

Other filling ideas - frozen green beans, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli florets (small), or any frozen veggies you like.

Enjoy...and try it with fruit pies, too!   It's fun for everyone to have his/her own pie for dinner. :)

Recipe follows...

Jennifer's Chicken Pot Pie
6 Tbsp. butter
1 c. onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms (optional, but so good)
6 Tbsp. flour
2 c. chicken stock  
1 c. half and half (or whole milk to make it lighter)
2 medium potatoes, skinned, chunked and roasted6-8 carrots, peeled, chunked, and roasted1 c. frozen peas
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roasted then shredded2 Tbsp. parsley
1 recipe for a double pie crust
salt, pepper, rosemary, sage to taste

extra virgin olive oil
1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water (for eggwash)

Make your pie crusts following recipe above, making sure EVERYTHING is very cold.  I even freeze the butter after I cut it into cubes and will put the flour in the freezer as well.   The colder everything is, the flakier your crust will be.  

Spray a couple of glass baking dishes with non-stick spray.  (or use non-stick cookie sheets and don't spray them)   Dish 1 - lay your chicken breasts down and sprinkle with kosher salt, cracked pepper, drizzled olive oil, and a dash of rosemary and sage.  Pick up and rub the chicken breasts so that they are coated with all ingredients on both sides.   Dish 2 - toss the chunked carrots and potatoes with kosher salt, cracked pepper, drizzled olive oil and a small dash of rosemary.  (a little rosemary goes a long way, so don't over do it)    Bake (roast) at 375-400 until chicken browns and vegetables start to brown.   Set dishes aside.  When the chicken is cool enough, shred it and return to dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a large, deep baking dish or at least 6 small pie tins. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes, until onions are soft and mushrooms start to brown a little.  Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flour with a whisk and cook for about 3-4 minutes for a blond roux.  Mixture will look like a paste.  Stir in the chicken stock and bring the liquid up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in the half and half (or milk) and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Line the baking pan with one of the crusts or follow directions above for small pie tins/crusts. Ladle the liquid filling into the pan(s), then add the fillings of your choice (chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas, corn). Place the top crust on top of the filled pie(s). Carefully tuck the overlapping crust into the pan and crimp the edges of the crust.  Poke a few vent holes in the top of each pie.  Mix 1 egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the eggwash over the top of crusts.  Place pie(s) on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Yum!

2 comments: said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to try this with my super picky eaters!

tnscrapper said...

What a great idea. I am gonna have to try this. Thanks for posting the recipe