Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

There is perhaps no kitchen-related disappointment as great as that of an almost-empty Crisco container. The initial disappointment is the lack of Crisco for my pie crust, but the sadness comes later when I realize exactly what happened to all that Crisco. I ate it.

Anyway, I was able to scrape up enough of the shortening to combine with butter and make crusts for two chicken pot pies and one apple pie. An all-butter crust doesn't have the crispiness, an all-Crisco crust doesn't have the flavor. So I compromise by using half of each.

I like to make two pot pies at a time because I can freeze one and have it for dinner in a couple weeks. Pre-baked, it takes a couple hours to heat up in the oven and tastes just fine.

This is not so much of a recipe as it is loose guidelines. You can add other veggies. I like the simple combo of potato, carrot, onion and celery.

This recipe will fill two pies.

cook 4-5 chicken breasts in 4 cups of chicken broth (I made my own from a leftover rotisserie chicken). Set chicken aside to cool. Strain broth into another bowl.

for the filling:
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-5 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 large carrots, diced
chicken broth
3 tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper

Use your favorite crust recipe, or this one I adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
ice water

Stir together flour and salt. Cut butter into tablespoon-size chunks and add it to the flour. Cut it in a few times with a pastry cutter, then add the shortening and use your pastry cutter until shortening and butter are the size of small peas (or lentils?). Add water a couple tablespoons at a time, gently mixing with your hands between each addition until dough comes together. Of course, don't overwork it.

Using the pot the broth was cooked in, heat the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add onions and celery, and saute until soft. Add garlic and saute for a little longer, then add flour and stir it around until no white is showing. Add wine and stir some more. Add broth, potatoes and carrots. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should be the consistency of slightly thin gravy. Add cream, salt and pepper. The filling should be slightly salty--the potatoes will absorb it as they cook.

I make this with a full bottom and top crust, but I've also used Stovetop stuffing as a sort of crumbly topping with good results.

Bake pies on the bottom rack at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until bottom and top crusts are golden. A good way to keep the top crust from burning is to put a pizza stone on the rack above.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Abbie please come and make us a delicious dinner of chicken pot pie and a Strawberry Margarita Pie. We can't wait, bring Jason too.