Chicken Pot Pie (In The Sky!)

Fillicious

It’s been unseasonably warm here in Toronto during the last 7 days, with temperatures ranging from 14 to 19 throughout the week.

It’s been so warm in fact, that it’s had many people decrying the arrival of spring.  I for one am sceptical on that front.  Not that it matters much to me anyway, since I’ll be departing on a tropical vacation soon.  Nonetheless, it’s certainly not enough to get me planting out of doors or packing away the winter boots just yet.

One thing it was able to inspire me to do though, was to create a pot pie.  Even if winter might not be quite over, it’s pretty clear that we’re getting to the tail end of it, which means heavier, heartier fare is becoming less and less desired or appropriate as each week moves on.  That being said, as far as I could remember, I don’t think I had ever made a pot pie before, though I’ve certainly made my fair share of chicken stews with dumplings, which are pretty much just pot pie filling without the vessel.  It seemed almost ludicrous to me that I had never bothered to make one, since chicken pot pie rates up there as one of my most favourite foods, but also one I don’t eat very often.  For the record, I can’t even recall the last time I had one before this, which seemed like reason enough to follow through with it.  Fortuitously, I’d received an email recipe from Chow recently that sounded like just the ticket, so I planned to work on it when I got home that night.

Of course, as I read through the recipe I realized I was missing several things; peas and pre-roasted chicken being the most noticeable exceptions.  I wasn’t ready to let go of the idea though, so I went rogue.  Instead of adding the peas, I just increased the carrots, celery and potato all to a cup.  For the chicken I opted to take the liquid that you’re supposed to simmer the chicken in, substitute buttermilk into it so that it would keep the meat moist and tender and poach boneless, skinless chicken thighs in it until they were cooked through.  Once everything was cooked and creamy, I assembled the pie as directed and topped it with a yummy puff pastry lid.  45 minutes later, I was in pot pie heaven.

The Everyman was so fond of the pot pie that he went back for thirds that night, and then proceeded to request it in his lunch bag every single day until it was all gone.  I’d say it was a winner.  Unfortunately, since he also asked me to keep this one in the regular rotation, I imagine it’s possible that I’ll be in the kitchen sweating my arse off over some pot pie filling this summer.

Ah well.  Some things are just worth the effort.  Like the Everyman.  And chicken pot pie.

Chicky Pot Pie

Foodie’s Adaptational Chicken Pot Pie In The Sky

2 tbsp butter

1 c. red pearl onions, peeled (boil for 1 minute and they will slip off easily)

1 c. white pearl onions, peeled (boil for 1 minute and they will slip off easily)

1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, stripped from stems

1 c. potato, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1 c. carrots, chopped

0.25 c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 tbsp butter

0.33 c. flour

2 c. vegetable stock

1 c. buttermilk

1 tbsp fresh rosemary or savoury, chopped

1 egg

0.5 package of puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400*.  Melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat until foaming.  Add onions, sage and thyme and sauté until fragrant.  Meanwhile, melt 4 tbsp butter in another skillet and sprinkle with flour once the butter is foaming.  Whisk constantly until flour gently starts to brown, 1-2 minutes.  Slowly pour in stock and whisk continuously to keep it smooth.  Once all the stock is incorporated, add the buttermilk and rosemary or savoury, and continue to stir as it might look curdled for a few minutes.  Let the liquid thicken slightly for several minutes, then nestle the chicken thighs in, cover and simmer until the thighs are completely cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.  Once cooked, shred the meat with 2 forks and season with plenty of salt and fresh cracked pepper, then set aside.  While the chicken is simmering, return to the onions, add the potato, celery and carrots to the pan and cook until the vegetables have softened, 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in parsley, then combine the veggie mixture with the creamy chicken mixture in your baking dish, stirring well to incorporate, adding additional salt and pepper to taste.  Roll puff pastry out to a thickness and shape that will fit your baking dish, then carefully apply it over the top, gently pressing to seal the edges.  Extra dough can be used to create decorative shapes for a topping if desired.  Combine the egg with a small amount of water and whisk together, then apply to the pastry with a brush.  Cut several slits along the top of the shell to allow steam to escape, then bake for 35-40 minutes, removing once crust has risen and browned significantly.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Until next time…

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One Response to “Chicken Pot Pie (In The Sky!)”

  1. [...] then I concocted that delectable chicken pot pie recipe.  And it got me thinking – why limit a shepherd’s pie filling to that sad, sloppy mess [...]

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