Chicken Pot Pie
from Ina Garten
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
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
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
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
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
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 to 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. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough tomoisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. 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 filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and 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 egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Warning: this is a labor intensive meal, but worth it. You could take some short cuts like buying frozen carrots, but those just don't cut it for me. There are a few things you could definitely prepare ahead of time to make the actual process shorter. Something I would do differently the next time I make these is to not cube my chicken. I think I will just buy a whole cooked chicken at Costco or cook my own and then pull the meat off of it. I didn't really like the texture of the cubed chicken. That's just me, though. Oh, and I also just used boneless skinless chicken. For the pastry, I do not have a food processor...yet. I just made it the good old fashioned way and it turned out great. Below is a picture of the reason why I post very little on this blog lately. She is by my side constantly through this ear infection, cold, flu and most of all teething time. She is scheduled to see an ENT soon, so let's hope that solves the ear problems. In the picture, she is teething on a cupboard knob. Nice.
Bake and cube chicken. Set aside.
Saute onions in butter. I did not have frozen small whole onions, so I just cut up a yellow onion into larger chunks.
I like to use fresh herbs whenever possible. Using fresh herbs really makes a difference in certain dishes.
The filling. Make sure you cut your carrot so it is bite sized.
Once the pastry is over all of your pies, spread an egg wash (yolk/water mixture) over the top to help with browning. Make three slits at the top for air to escape and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
About an hour later you have this to look forward to. The perfect comfort food for a cold winter evening and it is even better the second day.