With the colder weather over the past few days (hello Winter!), I was craving something hearty and warm for dinner last night. I came across this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie, from Ina Garten (also known as Barefoot Contessa). I have a complete fear of pastry, and have never, ever in my life attempted to make a pie crust from scratch. What better way to start the new venture of a blog than by attempting to conquer a culinary fear? Call me crazy, but this recipe was therapy. The finished product was incredible, resulting in some oohs and aahs in the lunchroom at work today when I brought leftovers. A few shared tastes led to further compliments and requests for the recipe. Here it is ladies! These pot pies would also make a fabulous meal for guests, as the individual servings make for quite a delightful presentation. Imagine being able to dig in to your own little pie, made just for you! Either way, give these a try, you won’t regret it. Happy eating!
Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from Ina Garten)
6 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 TBSP. olive oil
Salt and pepper (preferably sea salt and freshly ground pepper)
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 4 tsp. of bouillon powder)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups of chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup half & half cream (or heavy cream if you like it really rich)
2 cups medium-diced carrots
2 cups frozen peas
Glug of white wine (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP. water, for egg wash
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the diced chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the chicken is cooked through, set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick (this will only take a couple of minutes). Add 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and the cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, parsley, and the white wine, if you’re using it. Mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas. Slowly add in the ice water; you only want to add enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes (or you can make it a day in advance).
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls (I think it would work equally well to make two large pies, if that is your preference – I only had one ovenproof small bowl, so I made one small and one very large). Divide the dough into quarters (or in half if making two large pies), and then roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with the egg wash and make 3 slits in the top with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Then try not to burn yourself as you proceed to start shoveling this goodness into your mouth. Enjoy!