Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is one of my favorite foods--probably because it's so bad for me.  It's also one of my two-year-old daughter's favorite foods--and one of the only things she says clearly.  "Pot pie, mama!"

My friend Lisa made this recipe for us a long time back, and soon after I had to ask her for her recipe.  I've made it several times since, and the only thing I do differently from her recipe is that I make my sauce on the stove instead of in the microwave.

If you've ever been scared of making pot pie, don't be!  First of all, you can buy pre-made crusts, which make the process way less scary.  (Though I recently braved making my own pie crust, and it turned out wonderfully!)  Second of all, as long as you are good at whisking for a long time, you can successfully make a white sauce.  

So here goes.

Chicken Pot Pie

Get your pie crusts out and set them on the counter to warm up just a bit.  DO NOT MICROWAVE THEM!!!  (If they are frozen, you should stick them in the fridge to thaw the night before.)  If you want to make your own pie dough, the recipe I used is at the bottom of this post.  (Thanks Mom!)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a pan with tinfoil and bake two chicken breasts.  (I also sprinkle them with salt and pepper and some italian seasoning.)  I cut my chicken breasts into halves or thirds to help them cook a little quicker.

Boil two or three potatoes (cut into chunks), and several carrots (sliced) until tender.  Drain.  Put them in a large bowl to wait for the sauce. (The baby carrots I had were so skinny I didn't even cut them up this time.)

Once your chicken breasts are cooked through, put them on a cutting board and dice them up.  I like to use an electric knife for this, but a normal knife is fine if you don't have an electric one.  You could also shred the chicken if you prefer.

Add the chicken to the bowl with the potatoes and carrots.

Now it's time to make your sauce.  You could be working on this simultaneously while the other things are cooking if you are confident enough.  It's just that you have to pretty much whisk it continuously to keep it from burning or curdling, so if you are nervous, wait until everything else is done so you can focus on it.

For Sauce: 
-Melt 1/3 c butter, then add 1/3 c flour.  
-Meanwhile, dissolve 2 small cubes of chicken bullion in 1 3/4 cup of water.  
-Add 2/3 cup milk, then add all the liquid into the butter/flour mixture.

Once your sauce is at the desired thickness, pour it over your vegetable mixture.  Add in one cup of frozen peas.

Lay your first pie crust into your 8x8 pan.  Use a fork to poke a lot of holes in the crust.  This will help keep it from sogging.

 Pour in your filling.

 Cover it all with your top layer of crust.

 Tuck the edges in, doing your best to meet up with the bottom crust, but if you don't, it's no big deal.
 Make your edge look however you'd like.  There are a lot of pie crust crimping video tutorials on YouTube if you need some help.

 Cut some slits in the top layer of crust to help vent it.

 Brush with either a milk or eggwash.  I use milk just because it's easier.  Egg wash is probably a bit glossier and prettier, but both will help brown up the top of your crust.

 Cover the edges of your crust with tinfoil.  Plan to remove the tinfoil when there are about ten minutes left to go on your cooking time.

 Bake at 425 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.  (Remove the tinfoil around 25 minutes.)

 Viola!  You made a chicken pot pie!  Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into it, or it will just run all over.

 Let's face it: It's really hard to get a nice slice of chicken pot pie to come out.  It will still taste awesome, though. :)  
* * *
Pie Crust Recipe 

3 cups flour--you want to pack it down just a bit by shaking your measuring cup to settle it.
1 1/4 cup shortening
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 TBSP *cold* water
1 TBSP apple cider or white vinegar
1 large egg.

1) Put flour into sturdy plastic bowl.  Add salt and sugar.

2) Add shortening to flour mixture, and "cut" it into it with a pastry blender.  If you don't have a pastry blender, a potato masher or something similar can work in a pinch.  Stop mixing when your flour mixture looks like various sizes of granules between cornmeal sized to pea sized. (So you want it to have little lumps in it.)

3) In a small bowl or pyrex measuring cup, put egg, 5 TBSP (nice and full!) cold water, 1 TBSP vinegar.  *Whisk*

4) Dump liquid into flour/shortening mixure.  Stir quickly.  As soon as it's in a glob, stop and mold it into a ball with your hands.

-At this point, you can either refrigerate the dough until you are ready to use it (just wrap it in some saran wrap), or you can roll it out and use it immediately.-

5) Cut the ball of dough into two sections.  Make one section slightly bigger than the other, as you'll need a bit more for the bottom of your crust than the top.  

6) Sanitize and flour your countertop.  Roll out your dough.  Try to only flip it once.  It's easier to pick up at the end if you fold the rolled out circle in half and then lift it into your pan. 

Email me with questions. 


CatherineY13 said...

How long do you usually bake your pot pie for?

Wes and Dani said...

Sorry! Thanks for pointing that out. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. (Remove the tinfoil around 25 minutes.)