Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hot and Savory Chicken Pot Pie

At some point in November right around Thanksgiving Sweetie gave me a recipe that he had seen in the Sunday newspaper supplement. It was for Turkey Pot Pie and these little pot pies were baked in individual ramekins and each was topped with puff pastry. They looked delicious!

It took a while (but life has been unusual this winter) and some thought, but I made something similar a few nights ago. I went with Chicken Pot Pie because I had some already cooked chicken thigh meat and no turkey. I chose to make one big casserole instead of the individual portions, which worked out well. The filling stayed nice and moist and the line up of golden rectangles of puff pastry looked really nice. Best of all, this pot pie is delicious.

You start by cooking some cubed potatoes in chicken broth. I leave the peel on mine, but feel free to peel the potatoes before cubing them if you like. Chopped onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery are sauteed in a little butter, then seasoned with poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper. Flour is added and cooked a bit to take the 'floury' taste away, then a mixture of chicken broth and milk are added and cooked to make a thicker sauce. Some peas and corn are lightly cooked and added, along with the chicken and cooked, drained potatoes. It smells really wonderful by this time. You could substitute out green beans or asparagus for the corn or peas and could add in mushrooms or those tiny onions if you like. This is a recipe that allows for variations.

In the past I've tried making dishes like this with the puff pastry baked right on top. It rarely works. I just get melted puff pastry drooping over the filling. This time I baked the pastry rectangles on a baking sheet and then put them on top of the hot filling. That worked beautifully! The softness of the filling was a good foil for the crisp golden pastry.

If you are trying to increase your veggie intake, you can put a lot of veggies in this and it will still taste delicious. Feel free to increase the amounts.

I kind of made up this recipe as I went along, so there is no source for it. If you go online you might find some that are similar. The photo is terrible, too, but I find that my new kitchen makes photography after dark very difficult. There is something about the light. It tastes far better than it looks.

Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Topper

3-4 yellow Finn potatoes, washed and cubed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2-3 carrots, sliced into coins
1/4 yellow bell pepper and 1/4 red bell pepper diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
about another 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2  - 2 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken (I used skinless thighs)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 sheet (half package) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon milk or 1/2 and 1/2

In a large pot with a lid, add the chicken broth to the cubed potatoes. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Meanwhile,  prepare the onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper. When potatoes are cooked, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt the butter in the pot the potatoes were cooked in. Add the onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper. Over medium heat, cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Add the flour, poultry seasoning, dried thyme and salt and pepper to taste to the cooked veggies. Stir for 1 minutes to allow the flour to cook a bit.

In a large measuring cup, measure the reserved potato cooking liquid. Add additional chicken broth to bring the level up to 1 3/4 cups. Add the milk. Stir this mixture, all at once, into the veggie/flour mixture and continue stirring over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly. It's OK if mixture bubbles a bit once it has thickened.

Add the cubed chicken and stir to combine.

In a microwave safe container, cook the peas and corn for 1-2 minutes to warm. Add warmed peas and corn to the pot with the chicken and veggies. Add the cooked and drained potatoes. Stir to combine everything, then spoon mixture into a greased 9" x 13" casserole.

Cut the sheet of puff pastry into 9 rectangles. Place pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least an inch between them. Bake puff pastry in preheated oven. When pastry has puffed but is not yet brown, put the casserole into the oven to heat (I put it on a lower shelf).

When puff pastry rectangles are puffed and golden brown, remove them from the oven. Remove the casserole from the oven. Place the rectangles on top of the casserole mixture. Serve at once.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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