My trusty recipe for chicken pot pie came in handy this past week. With all the delicious leftovers we had after Thanksgiving, a pot pie was the solution that put to good use, not only the turkey, but also some leftover turkey stock and gravy. All I had to do was to substitute turkey for chicken in this recipe and we were ready to go!
The filling is quite simple: sautéed onions, carrots, potatoes, peas or zucchini, some tarragon, the cooked meat and a little white sauce to bind everything together. For the shortcrust pastry crust, I use my recipe for pâté brisée (which is also great for quiches and savory tarts). If you do not have the time, a store-bought crust or even puff pastry can be substituted for the pâté brisée.
A pot pie is the perfect Sunday night supper. The great thing about it is that you can even assemble it the night before and bake it just before dinner the next day. It is classic comfort food for the cold months, it easily feeds a crowd, and, it also makes great leftovers that kids will want to take to school with them the next day. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
- Pâte Brisée:
- 1½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut in small pieces
- 4 TBSP. ice water
- The Filling:
- 2 Lbs. cooked chicken (or turkey)
- 2 small red potatoes cut into small chunks
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or unpeeled, zucchini diced in ½” pieces and blanched)
- 5 TBSP. unsalted butter
- 2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 5 TBSP. all-purpose flour
- 1½ cup chicken broth (or turkey stock)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 TBSP. dried tarragon
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 TBSP. water
- Cut up the butter into very small pieces and place in the refrigerator while you measure the other ingredients. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse several times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running add the ice water through the feed tube and process until the dough just comes together. (To test this, pinch a piece of the dough between your fingers.)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a flat round disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before using.
- Cut the chicken into 1” pieces. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring it to a boil. After 5 minutes, add the carrots and cook for a few minutes more, until both the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Drain and set the vegetables aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet oven medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook stirring constantly for a few more minutes, making sure not to brown the butter.
- Slowly add the broth and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the cream, tarragon, salt and pepper and cover the pot. Simmer for a few minutes. Next, add the chicken, potatoes, carrots and thawed peas to this sauce, mix gently and remove from the heat. Check the consistency, and if the mixture is too dry, add a little more chicken stock. Next, pour mixture into a deep 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish. You can also divide the filling among individual ramekins.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Mix the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Roll out the pastry and place over the dish or cut the pastry to fit the ramekins. Trim the pastry leaving a 1” border. Brush the edge of the dish with the egg wash and press the overhanging dough onto the dish. Crimp the pastry decoratively and brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash to give a nice glossy finish to the crust. Cut a few steam vents in the pastry.
- Place the dish on a baking dish and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.
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People who love to eat are always the best people – Julia Child