I will admit to having not one but TWO cookbooks in my possession recently that prominently feature chicken pot pies. While I never got around to making the recipe found in Cooking for Two: Perfect Meals for Pairs, I did finally squelch my obsession by making the recipe from New Classic Family Dinners. Does it seem like a lot of work? Yes. Is it enormously satisfying? Absolutely.
Think about this: how do you really make a pot pie? Blanch some veggies, cook some chicken, make some sauce, top with pre-made puff pastry, bake. SIMPLE!
Now all of that really does add up to a lot of work. But dang it, if I, a food styling dunce, can take some freakin fantastic pictures of the finished product, you too can make a jaw-dropping meal. Impress your lady or man (or lady man?) and GET LAID! This meal will do it. But don’t call it a chicken pot pie. Call it something sexier. How about… the butter-topped chick bake. How’s that?
Let’s get to the real recipe…
Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from New Classic Family Dinners by Mark Peel
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
- 1 1/3 cups thawed frozen peas
- 1 fat handful trimmed green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces, steamed
- 1 cup peeled and quartered small onions
- 3/4 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
- 1/4 creme fraiche
- 1 8 oz sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the carrots, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the carrots with a straining spoon and transfer to a bowl with the peas and green beans. You won’t need this again until later so set it aside.
Take out another saucepan and add salted water. Once boiling, drop the onion bits into it. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until tender. It’s ok if the segments break apart while cooking. When soft, remove and cool in a bowl of ice water. Add the drained onions to the peas, green beans, and carrots. Dump in the chicken and mix together. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Now you’ve got the main filling. Sauce time!
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the flour. This is a roux. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to brown. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chicken stock. Put the pot back on the heat and simmer, whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, taking care to mix so that the sauce doesn’t char on the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste and add the sage. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the creme fraiche. Pour the sauce over the meat and veggies, mixing well. Presto, saucetastical filling.
Butter 4 ramekins. Distribute the filling between the ramekins and prepare the puff pastry by cutting it into 4 pieces that will amply cover the top of the ramekins. (An aside: at this point in the unadulterated recipe, Mark Peel recommends refrigerating the filling and then popping the pot pies in the freezer for 20 minutes. I didn’t do that. He doesn’t say why he does it and my pot pies came out fine without the extra waiting time.)
Whisk together the egg and water to use for puff pastry sealant. Brush it over the edges of the ramekins then place the puff pastry pieces over the top. Press, seal and crimp the puff pastry around the edge of the ramekin. Pierce the pot pies in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with the egg mixture and place on a cookie tray. Bake until a lovely shade of golden brown, around 20 minutes. Eat. Enjoy! YUM.
DANG IT. Now all I want to eat right now is some buttery crust dipped in pot pie sauce with a nice piece of chicken in the bite. Oh man, ecstasy.