Chicken Pot Pie – Oh My

Twitter has been blowing up this week with pie recipes.  Didn’t you hear?  It’s Pie Week!  Yes, all things pie are being passed around cyberspace and I’m not only talking about gooey fruit pies but savory pies as well.  One posting that caught my eye was for Chicken Pot Pie on the Blooming On Bainbridge blog.  Unbelievably cute blog – you MUST check it out!  Anyway, after looking at Teresa’s beautiful pictures I was drooling all over myself and had to make one of my very own.  Here goes:

First things first – Pour 4 cups of chicken stock in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Then dice up 3 large red potaotes.  I like the chunks big.  They hold up to the boiling and baking much better that way.
Toss the potatoes in the sauce pan with the chicken stock and boil them until they are just beginning to get tender.  Then remove them and put them in a bowl.  
Chop up your carrots.  You can make them pretty by cutting on the diagonal like I did here, or you can make them chunks or whatever happens to float your boat at the moment.

It’s ok – let your creative carrot cutting juices fly!

Add the carrots to the boiling chicken stock and boil until they start to become tender.  Plop them into the bowl with the potatoes and let them chill out together.

Move the chicken stock to another burner and let it sit.  You won’t need it again for a while and it won’t need to be boiling anymore.

Now you can do this one of 2 ways.  1) Boil the chicken breast and then tear into bite sized pieces or 2) bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until just cooked through.  Your choice.  I decided to bake them with a little salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.  Just cuz that’s how I roll.

You could also George Foreman them as well.  Not a bad option if you’re in a time crunch.  

After you chickies are cool enough to handle, chop them into bite-sized cubes and let them hang out for a bit.  Here’s were the recipe gets fun – and a little fattening.  Shhh  Don’t tell anyone. 
Butter your baking dish so its ready for the pot pie goodness that’s about to happen.  I know I said the bad word – butter.  But seriously it is a gift from God.  So don’t hate on the butter, it can’t help itself.
Dice up a large shallot, a small onion and an orange bell pepper.  No need to be fancy shmancy here once this is draped in gravy goodness – you won’t care if your dice was symmetrical!


Add the onions and peppers to a frying pan with 1/2 stick of butter.  I know, I said it again.  You’ll thank me in the end, PROMISE.  Add a tablespoon or so of fresh Thyme leaves.  The trick here is medium temperature.  No need to brown anything, just cooking the onions so they are translucent and beginning to release their sugars.

Can you smell it?  I can!

Ok – cooking lesson time.  If you already know how to chiffonade then fast forward.  If not, this is the coolest trick I know.  Chiffonade (pron: shif en odd) is a cooking technique where herbs or other leafy vegetables like spinach are stacked up then rolled like a cigar as seen above.  Then you cut into thin slices and VIOLA!  you have just reduced your cutting time tremendously.
Post chiffonade.  Now you can give it a rough chop and toss it in the frying pan with the onion & pepper mixture.
Ok – so I got a little ahead of myself and didn’t take a photo of the flour being added to the vegetables but you’d need to do that, THEN add the wine and reserved chicken stock and this is what it looks like.

Oooooo……..Ahhhhhh.

You want to raise the heat now and start this puppy boiling.  Then add the milk (or cream) and let it get nice and thick.  So it coats the back of a spoon.  You’ll need to whisk, whisk, whisk here.

Did I mention you need to whisk it?  I did?  Good.

Don’t go answer the phone!

This is no time for a break.

Watch this like a Hawk or you’ll end up with vegetable play-doh and thats just wrong.

Toss in the chicken, potatoes and carrots and give it a stir.  This is the point where you might want to add some sort of green vegetable like peas or chopped snow peas.  Unfortunately, I was fresh out of all things green except Broccoli and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Back to the Pie – turn off the heat, set the pan aside and go take that break.  You may want to return those phone calls you missed to.  This will need to rest for about 40 minutes.

Once the 40 minutes is up and your done with your phone calls and break, pour the chicken, vegetables and gravy into your buttered dish and let the crust begin!

You can finish this bad boy one of two ways.  1) open the box of Pillsbury Pie Crust and drape over your beautiful pot pie OR 2) get all Martha with it and use a homemade crust.  Your choice, I’m sure it will be fantastic either way!  I chose #2 because I am just a complete over achiever.  It’s truly a sickness.  I wish there was medication for it, really I do.

Cut a few slits in the top to vent the steam.  Place in your 400 degree oven and bake away for the next 50 minutes.  Let it cool for about 10 before you cut into it.  That will keep everyone from getting burns on the roofs of their mouths.  You won’t be able to help yourself and its really hard to blow on it when you’re gobbling it down.

Let me know how yours turns out and what you did differently!!

~H
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Chicken & Vegetable Pot Pie
{Printable Recipe}

5 chicken breasts
4 to 6 cups chicken stock

3 large red potatoes, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into slices

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 large shallot, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves only
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream (or fat free milk, which I used)

Pie Crust

instructions:
1) season chicken breasts and bake in the oven at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.  dice and set aside.
2) boil chicken stock in a sauce pan.  add potatoes and cook until just tender, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  add carrots to the same pan and boil until just tender.  remove with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the potaotes.  set the chicken stock aside for later.
3) heat a frying pan to medium-high and add 1/2 stick of butter.  saute the shallot, onion and pepper until translucent.  add the thyme and sage and cook for another minute or two.  add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.  stir in 4 cups of chicken stock and wine.  increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  add cream (or milk) and boil until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.  season with salt and pepper.  add reserved vegetables and chicken and stir.  cool 40 minutes.
4) make sure the oven is still set to 400 degrees.  you will want to either put a baking sheet on the bottom rack or heavy duty foil to catch the drippings.
5) pour chicken and gravy mixture into a buttered 4 quart oval baking dish.  cover filling with pie crust and tuck in the edges of the dough.  cut slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
6) place pot pie on the top rack and bake for 50 minutes.  let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

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