Chicken Challenge Meal #3: Chicken Pot Pie for Two

Pot Pie

There is no better use for leftover chicken than chicken pot pie. Don’t even try to argue with me on this one.   A flaky, homemade crust topping chicken and vegetables swimming in a rich veloute is one of my favorite meals.  Yes, it’s home-cooking, but put a homemade chicken pot pie in front of anyone and they will eat and be happy.

Pot Pie Filling

This chicken pot pie recipe is extra special, because it actually incorporates the fat from the roasted chicken and the carcass stock to give the dish an extra bit of goodness.  I was running out of natural light and needed to take photos, so I pulled my chicken pot pie from the oven on the early side.   If mother nature had not been about to plunge me into darkness, I would have cooked the pot pie a little longer or thrown it under the broiler for a minute at most to get a little more color in the crust.

Ready for the Oven

Although you certainly didn’t hear me or my husband bemoaning the lack of color as we ate this pie.  Not that you could have heard us over the joyful clanging of spoons hitting plates as we scraped up every last morsel.   Happy cooking!

Chicken Pot Pie for Two

Classic Chicken Pot Pie for Two – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 2 generous portions

If you are making this as part of the Chicken Challenge, use some of your carcass stock and your reserved chicken fat to make this comforting entrée.

For the crust (store-bought dough can be substituted):
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, more for dusting
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 ½ tablespoons ice-cold water

For the filling:
1 ½ cups diced chicken breast (I used one breast, skin removed, from the roasted chicken)
2 cups carcass stock (find recipe on Minced blog) or less sodium store-bought broth
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced in ¼-inch slices
1 large celery rib, sliced in ¼-inch slices
½ cup frozen peas
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chicken fat or unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Egg wash (lightly beaten egg with a little water)
Special equipment: small, shallow baking dish (about 1 quart)

Making pastry dough by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the 4 tablespoons of butter into small cubes. Use two forks or a pastry blender to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the fat is in small lumps.   Sprinkle the ice-cold water over the flour mixture and use a fork to pull the mixture together. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of ice-cold water, in teaspoonfuls, if the dough is not coming together. Turn the dough out on the counter and, working quickly, mold it into a large ball. Press the ball into a disc. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes and up to one day. Use as directed in the recipe.

Using a food processor: Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into small cubes. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Slowly add the water while pulsing. Continue to pulse until the dough comes together.   Turn the dough out on the counter and, working quickly, mold it into a large ball. Press the ball into a disc. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes and up to one day. Use as directed in the recipe.

For the pie:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the carrots, and celery to the stock and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 12-15 minutes.  Add the frozen peas to the other vegetables during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the stock and set them aside in a large bowl.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups of stock remaining in the saucepan.  If you have additional stock, remove the extra and set aside for use in another recipe.

Meanwhile, heat the 3 tablespoons chicken fat or butter in another medium saucepan.  Once melted, add the onions and cook until soft about 6 minutes over medium heat.  Dust flour over the onions and butter and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, to make a thick roux. Whisking constantly, slowly add the chicken stock to the roux and onions.  Continuing to whisk the mixture, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce is very thick.  Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the minced parsley.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and add the chicken.  Stir to coat everything with the sauce and then pour the entire mixture into a shallow 1-quart baking dish.  Set aside.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a large 1/4-inch thick rectangle (just big enough to cover your baking dish). Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough from the countertop to the 2-quart baking dish. Cover the filling with the dough and cut the dough to completely cover the filling.

If desired, use the excess pastry dough to cut out decorative shapes for the top of the pie.  Brush the dough with the egg wash.

If your dough hangs over the edge of your baking dish, place it on a baking sheet during baking. Otherwise, the chicken pot pie can go directly in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is nicely browned.  If the filling is bubbling, but the top is not as brown as you would like it, turn on the broiler for a minute or two, but watch your pie closely to avoid burning!  Once baked remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving.



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