Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I've made Chicken Pot Pie several different ways since we got married.  I like to take all the leftover bits from different meals throughout the week and throw them together for a flavorful and simple dish. I also have several different crust options.
Filling (feel free to vary this be what leftovers you have in the fridge):
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup cooked potato cubes (I like to use leftover roasted potatoes to save time)
  • 1/2 bag mixed veggies, roughly 1-2 cups (peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans, corn, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped (I use leftover dark meat from my roast chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • herbs and spices to taste (what I put in depends solely on the other ingredients I'm using, if I'm using lots of already-seasoned leftovers I do not add much. However, if I am using freshly prepared ingredients, I will throw in parsley, basil, rosemary, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Crust variations:
  • Time Saver - use a store bought unbaked pie crust
  • Just for Fun - use puff pastry dough and no bottom crust
  • Completely Homemade (I usually stink at making pie crust and it takes a lot longer, but I did finally produce a beautiful and flavorful crust the last time I attempted it, pictured below)
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup butter or shortening, cold
    • 1/3 cup cold water
  1. This step is only necessary if you are making your own pie crust. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt, cut in butter until crumbly. Add water and knead together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (depending on the temperature of your house).
  2. While your dough is "chilling out" in the fridge, saute the onion and garlic in oil for 5 min.. Add the potatoes, veggies, and chicken (I don't bother heating or thawing any of these ingredients if they can easily be combined without doing so).  In a large measuring cup whisk together broth,  cornstarch, salt, pepper, and any seasoning.  
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Roll out top and bottom crusts, place bottom crust in a greased pie plate. 
  5. Place veggie mixture into the pie crust, pour broth mixture over the top, and add the top crust. Brush with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon cold water) and cut vents in the crust for steam to escape. (You can also add decorative dough cutouts like the leaf I have on mine by using a cookie cutter on the leftover dough.)
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.

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