Chicken Pot Pie

I have made many things in my life, but to my own disbelief, I had never prepared a chicken pot pie! Even its name emits wholesomeness, and that is precisely the feeling that it gifts us with when we eat it: that wholesome, cozy, comfy feeling, like putting on an old sweater or a pair worn-in woolen socks.

Prior to making this recipe, I conversed with a few friends about it, and one thing I kept hearing was “oh, that’s a staple in our home” or “we ate that a lot growing up.” Chicken pot pie is a family dish. It has presented itself in households for ages and will surely be here for years to come. It is timeless.

I had actually attempted to prepare this recipe a week ago. And while the filling was superb, I was unsatisfied with the results of the puff pastry crust which was suggested in the original recipe from lovelylittlekitchen.com.

I concluded that I adored the filling, however, I had to do is perfect the crust!   I presented the dilemma to the numerous friends and family I have who I consider absolutely genius in the kitchen.

I was beyond pleasantly surprised for all the feedback, advice and suggestions I received. In fact, there were SO many great ideas that I had no clue as to which one to try! So I decided NOT to choose just one, but instead combine the multiple ideas put forth by my very generous friends and family and create a whole new recipe.

I chose the base of my mother’s recipe, which essentially mirrored that of my friend Yvette’s. I replaced the white vinegar portion of the recipe with white wine as suggested by my friend Monica in Italy (such an Italian thing to do😂).  I added a hint of thyme, an idea offered by my cousin Stephanie. And I was sure to score the top of the pie, as instructed by my mom, as well as my friend and neighbor Alexis (and Alexis’s mom😊), an essential step, allowing the vapor to escape.

The crust, as a result, was a group effort, a family affair if you will. How appropriate for this made-for-family dish.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. This is a recipe which can be altered in so many different ways (as I have demonstrated); you can tailor-make it for you and your family. Add a bit of this, change a bit of that, but one thing will surely stay the same: Chicken Pot Pie will forever be shared, eaten together, as a family, whomever your family may be.

Enjoy!

 

Chicken Pot Pie

Start with the pie crust as it will need to chill for an hour; therefore you will have time to prepare the filling while it is doing so.

Pie Crust Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour, just because I prefer everything whole wheat😜, but it would definitely work best with the all-purpose flour)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces

1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut in 8 pieces

1/3 cup cold water

2 tbsp white wine

 

Pie Crust Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. With a pastry blender or fingers, cut in butter and vegetable shortening until mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Combine water and wine and sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time tossing together with a fork until the pastry is moist enough to hold its shape when a little piece is pressed between the fingers.

Gather pastry into a ball – it should not feel sticky.

Flour the counter or pastry board lightly. With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12-inches (20 x 30-cm). Fold the pastry into thirds like a letter. Turn the dough so the open edges face you and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat this procedure again (this makes for a flaky dough).

Roll dough into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill one hour.

For smaller pies, use half the dough, larger ones need two thirds or all of it. Freeze any remaining dough for another occasion. Dough should be rolled out 1/4-inch (5-mm) thick.

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Pie Filling Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped carrot

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish if desired

1 egg, beaten slightly with a fork
Pie Filling Directions:

In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat.

Add onion, celery, carrot, and sauté until onions are translucent and vegetables start to get tender.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in milk, heavy cream and and bouillon, and bring to a slow boil.

Simmer gently over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken (5 minutes).

Turn heat to low, and add chicken, peas and thyme.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour chicken mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt.

Roll out dough into desired shape on lightly floured surface.

Cover chicken mixture with dough, making sure to leave some hanging over the edge, and scoring it too to permit the vapor to escape.

Using a pastry brush, brush egg onto top of dough.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top of the dough will be a deep golden brown color.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

A special thank you to Monica Carrozzo, Alexis Strober (and her mom), Yvette Yasui and Stephanie Vanderschaff for all there helpful advice, suggestions and input. A special thank you to my mom for her recipe and for the 5 or 6 phone calls required to get it right😉. One last thank you to Lindsey Low for the use of her rolling pin! (This temporary stay in Toronto has deprived me of my most precious cooking equipment!!!)