Does anyone else feel like they blinked and it was fall? I'm not complaining, of course. Fall is my favorite season, if only because I can use my oven again. Rather than wax rhapsodic about the virtues of fall, I'll cut to the chase and leave you with this recipe.
The first time I made chicken pot pie, it took me approximately 4 hours and two shopping trips - truly the biggest hassle that I would never wish upon anyone. This is a much simpler chicken pot pie with a few shortcuts in there that I hope you'll take.
First, make the crust. I made my standard all butter crust, which requires a stick of frozen butter (so stick it in the freezer if you're not in the habit).
- 1 1/4 cups flour (170 grams), plus more for dusting
- 1 pinch kosher salt (5 grams)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/4 ice water
- 1 egg, beaten, to brush on before baking
Combine the flour and salt in a wide bowl. Grate the stick of frozen butter over the flour. Using a spatula, fold the butter into the flour. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and use your fingers to combine the dough into a shaggy ball. Transfer it onto plastic wrap, wrap it tightly, and place in the fridge. This step can be done several days in advance.
Next, make the chicken filling. I had roasted a whole chicken the day before, so had lots of leftover dark and white meat, which I pulled off the bone and stored. Your options are to either by a rotisserie chicken already cooked from the supermarket, or roast some chicken thighs and breasts beforehand, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. I'd recommend buying a rotisserie chicken to save yourself some time.
For the filling, you'll need:
- 2 lbs (approximately) cooked and shredded white and dark chicken meat
- 2 medium sized carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/8 cup half and half (optional)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat up some olive oil and saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Once the carrots are soft and the onions are starting to brown, stir in the chopped thyme, parsley, and turmeric. Next , sprinkle the flour over the top one tablespoon at a time, stirring to incorporate the flour. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, adding about 1/2 a cup at a time. Continue to stir. The filling should be nice and thick and very fragrant. Add the frozen peas and cooked chicken, folding it in gently so that it all heats through. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, as needed. Turn the heat off and spoon the filling into 6 ramekins. Let it cool while you roll out the crust.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Take out one egg and beat it in a bowl with a pastry brush. Take the pie crust out of the fridge and cut it in half to work on each half at a time. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface. If it's stiff at first, that's ok, just work slowly. I rolled mine out in a long oval shape so I could cut it into thirds to cover each of the ramekins. Pause to flour the surface and your rolling pin as needed. Continue rolling out the other half of the dough, cutting each piece and laying them over each ramekin. Don't worry about making each one a perfect circle.
Lay each piece of crust over the ramekins. Use the egg wash to help the dough adhere, if necessary, but use sparingly. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Cut a slit into each crust. Bake, on a piece of parchment paper laid on a baking sheet, for about 45 minutes, or until the tops are brown.
These will freeze well and can be popped into the oven for a quick weeknight meal. Try not to burn your mouth when eating.