If you’re looking for warm winter comfort food, you’ve come to the right place. Between my recent sausage and lentil soup and my favorite [award-winning] chili, you might say, “What else is there?” Well my friends, there’s always chicken pot pies. And I don’t mean the [preservative-full] pot pie mixture holed up in a cardboard-pastry that you find the in grocery store. I mean flakey pastry, thick and creamy filling, fresh chicken, homemade pot pies. The best kind of pot pie.
For this, I turned back to my old faithful, Ina Garten. I know that some of you are probably sick and tired of all of my Ina recipes but to that I say, “Suck it up.” hee hee! Seriously though, I have all 6 of Ina’s cookbooks (and not many cookbooks outside of these 6). I don’t subscribe to magazines. Yes, I read food blogs but for the most part, I try to make good use of my cookbooks. There are, after all, hundreds of different recipes in these 6 cookbooks; why not use them? If you’re in love with Ina Garten as much as I am (and so is Kyle since I got a “oh Ina!” reaction from him while I made dinner the other night – see that post later this week), you should click on the Barefoot Bloggers link on the left side of my blog and check out how we put Ina’s cookbooks to use.
So back to the recipe. After making Ina’s Veggie Pot Pies back in November for Barefoot Bloggers, I knew I wanted them again but I was dying to throw some chicken in there. Luckily, this recipe wasn’t as time consuming as the veggie pies because there weren’t as many veggies in it but I did roast my own chicken breasts (on the bone like Ina suggests) rather than buying a cooked roasted chicken from the grocery store like I usually do when I throw chicken in some dishes. I made the full recipe (yields 4 pot pies) but only roasted 4 split chicken breasts rather than the 6 that Ina calls for. This wasn’t an issue at all and in fact there was plenty of chicken in the pot pies. I only used 3 split breasts in the pot pies and sliced up the 4th to give to Kyle for his lunch the next day to put in the remainder of the pot pie filling since there was an extra serving of the filling leftover.
Seriously, if you’ve got a few hours to make these homemade pot pies, you really need to give this recipe a try. The pastry dough is a cinch to put together and since my teenage cousin was up to visit for the recent holiday weekend, I took the opportunity to teach her how to make pastry dough. She was in awe about how easy it was to make. And the end product was of course wonderful: flakey, buttery, tender…just perfect. The filling was just as wonderful as the veggie pot pies but with the addition of the flavorful roasted chicken. I halved the amount of butter and boullion for the filling since we didn’t need the extra fat and sodium and I never missed either of them. Since it snowed all day with temperatures around 10 degrees F, this was the perfect meal to warm us up. The time spend making these pot pies was definitely worth it and I will undoubtedly me making them again before the winter is over.
Chicken Pot Pies
source: Ina Garten
- 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the pastry:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.