I am a big fan of purchased pot pies, especially the brand by MC that you nuke in the microwave in the box for 6 minutes and presto, dinner! The only problem is that there just doesn't seem to be much filling. Don't get me wrong, I like crust as much as anyone, maybe even more than the average person, but come on, is it too much to ask to have more than 5 chunks of chicken in my pie?
I decided to try to do something I've never attempted..make chicken pot pie. I do most of my cooking on the weekend so meal prep during the work week isn't a chore that gets pushed to the back burner in favor of something quick and easy, like fast food, which we all know isn't good for us.
Armed with a list and determination, I head to my local grocery for ingredients. Lucky for me, they had bone in chicken breasts for 89 cents a pound. I bought a family pack that contained 4 huge chicken breasts. Those were some mighty busty chickens, if you ask me (don't get me started about the hormones they give animals that we eat!). Anyway, I cooked all four of them and saved the meat from two of them to freeze and use later in some homemade chicken noodle soup (another cold weather comfort food).
I used frozen puff pastry for the top crust and I was satisfied with the results. I was a little skeptical since "pie" in my book means top and bottom crusts, but I found that I didn't miss he bottom crust at all on these gems. I will let you know in advance that you will need to taste and readjust seasonings because I found the basic recipe too bland for my liking.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 large bone in, skin on chicken breasts
1 large onion
6 stalks of celery, including tops, cut into 4" pieces
4 carrots cut into 4" pieces
1 32 oz. box of low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
8 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 chopped cooked chicken breasts
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 package frozen puff pastry
In a large pot, place the chicken breasts and next 8 ingredients. Heat over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. I let it simmer on the stove for about an hour, maybe a little longer.
Remove chicken to a platter and set aside to cool.
Using a colander, strain the contents over a large bowl. Discard the veggies that have been cooked to mush. They were there to enrich the broth, not to be eaten or incorporated.
Pour the strained liquid into a fat separator.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the puff pastry out to thaw.
In the large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.
Slowly pour in the stock, whisking until smooth and bubbly.
Bring mixture to a boil.
Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and thyme, cooking the vegetables until tender. About 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes, chicken, peas and salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Remove from the heat and cool. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Taste (carefully, it is hot) and adjust the seasonings a little at a time to fit your taste.
I ended up adding a teaspoon more salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon more thyme.
Divide the mixture equally among oven proof bowls. I used small ramekins (just the right size for lunch), my two small Emile Henry pie plates and a Corning petite pan that I had. This makes quite a bit.
Unfold the puff pastry and cut to fit the tops of your oven proof bowls.
Moisten the rims of your bowls and stretch the pastry over the filling, pressing along the edges to seal.
Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Move the bowls to the cookie sheet for baking. These will very likely run over, so the foil will save you on cleanup!
Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. It should take about 20-25 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Don't these look delish?
...and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!