My family and I have many cool weather recipes that we love. Homemade chicken pot pie is up high on the list. Usually I just wing it, by throwing things together and not really following a recipe. It usually turns out pretty tasty but this time around I had the time to search recipes and came across one by one of my favorite Food Network celeb chefs, Ina Garten. I did make a couple of adjustments to her recipe to cut down on a step or two but nothing too crazy. You can see Ina’s recipe here. The original recipe states the serving size as 4 individual pot pies. The biggest change I made would be to the serving size. Once I started ladling the filling into the bowls I realized the portions were going to be much too large for just 4 and divided everything into 6 oven proof bowls. One other thing, his is not a flash in the pan kind of recipe, You really need to start several hours prior to dinner time if you want to make the day of. You can also make ahead, up to the point of putting the pastry on top and then freeze for another day. You can shave some of your cooking time by swapping the chicken breasts for pre-cooked or even canned chicken, just omit the oil, salt & pepper at the start of the ingredient list.
The Fam Bam and I agree, this is The Best Chicken Pot Pie we have ever had. The crust is fluffy and flaky. The filling is rich and creamy with the right balance of chicken and vegetables. So here is my take on this delightful dinner
6 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
16 oz. frozen mixed veggies
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Kosher Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Place the chicken breasts in a foil lined 9″x 13″ baking pan, rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut the chicken into large dice. I like about a 3/4 inch size cube, big enough to know it’s there but no so big it fills the spoon. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce
(Please note, that pot I cooked the onions in was WAY too small, I had to transfer everything into a large stock pot in order to have the room to fit everything).
Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour and watch out for the sharp blade in the bottom of the processor bowl!. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas.
Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll each piece into a size large enough to cover, with some drape, the top of your bowls. Brush the outside edges (or wherever your crust will rest) of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Make sure you have no more than 1 inch of overhang. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick.
Make 3 slits in the top. (If you are making these ahead, this is where you would stop, place in the freezer for an hour or 2, until the crust is firmed up, and then place in a freezer bag, wrap in plastic wrap or place in a vacuum sealer bag and vacuum seal it. Return to the freezer until the day you’d like to enjoy. I did this with 3 of them. Continue with the next step when you are ready to bake them. To cook frozen pot pies place on a cooking sheet and place in a cold oven. Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. After about an hour, check the pies, if the crust is browned up, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until hot and bubbly)