Winter is the time for comfort food. Adding to the collection of some warm-you-from-the-inside American comfort food, today I thought I’d share a dish that we’ve all had in some form at one point or another (and if you haven’t, you need to): chicken pot pie.
There are many ways you could approach a pot pie, but the core of it is the same: a rich, broth full of chicken and vegetables packaged in a flaky pie crust. Some would make individual serving sized pot pies (e.g. in ramekins), others would fill a casserole dish with the broth and lay pastry on top, while I have done pie crust on the top and bottom (like any other pie). What can I say, I like pastry!
While my resulting pot pie was not a looker (in retrospect, individual servings in something like ramekins would have looked better), the flavor was just awesome, if not the best chicken pot pie i’ve ever had. This had a really rich and hearty filling that just hit all the right comfort food notes. The broth, the body, and the texture–I loved them all. One error though: I forgot the peas…but I didnt lose any sleep over that. This recipe very largely derives from this one.
- Pate brisee pie crust
- Chicken and Stock
- 1 whole chicken (~4 lbs)
- 2 shallots
- 1 carrot
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 tsp salt
- enough water to cover
- 6 tbsp butter
- ~1 cup new potatoes
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 shallot
- 6-8 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2.5 of the stock
- 1.5 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup ruby port
- fresh parsely
- fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp dijon
- dash cayenne
- 1 egg
This is one of those rare occasions where I would ever consider boiling meat. So begin by coarsely chopping the stock veggies and adding them with the salt and whole chicken (gizzards removed) into a big pot. Add enough water to cover the bird and boil for 45 minutes.
Some time during all of this boiling, rather than just standing around, you should prepare your pie crust. I used a deep pan and laid half of the dough over the bottom of the pan. Flatten the remaining half of dough a bit and set this aside in the fridge until later.
Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it, harvesting and shredding the meat as you go. Throw the wing tips, bones, skin, and other odd bits back into the pot.
Continue to boil, reducing the volume of broth and concentrating the flavor. Get it down to roughly 4 or 5 cups, straining and discarding the solids. You’ll need 2.5 cups of broth for this recipe so just save the extras for another day in your fridge/freezer.
Finally, onto the filling. Somewhat coarsely chop the celery, carrot, shallot, and new/fingerling potatoes (don’t bother peeling them). Sauté in butter for 8 minutes before adding the finely minced garlic for a minute more.
Add the flour to the pan an let it cook for a minute. Whisk in the 2.5 cups of stock as well as the half-and-half. Drop the eat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
Now, add the chicken, port, herbs, dijon, and seasoning. Warm things through, give it a good stir, and transfer to the pie crust.
Add the top layer of crust and crimp it on as best you can. Slit some vents for steam to escape. Beat an egg in a bowl with a bit of water, brushing it on top of your pie.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes before you dig in. Enjoy!