Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Chicken Pot Pie

I made chicken pot pie, my first savory pie (I'm a pro at sweet pies, but never did a savory one until now) for the meal before the Yom Kippur fast last weekend. A little but un-traditional, but when served with apples and honey and a nice challah, it made for the perfect meal, with plenty of leftovers too.  The filling is easy, and you simply prepare a savory pie crust, which is very similar to a sweet crust.  I used butter in the crust - not so healthy, but in my view makes for a much better crust than margarine or all-crisco.  So, take it as you will - this is a special meal, rather than a regular, everyday healthy meal.  It was enjoyed by all and was the perfect meal with plenty of leftovers.  My top crust fell apart a but when I was putting on the pie, so the pictures aren't dazzling, but trust me it tasted really, really good.

Chicken Pot Pie filling (from this recipe from chef Emeril Lagasse)
6 T butter (I used canola oil instead)
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 T flour
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup half and half
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sweet peas
2 cups shredded chicken (from boiled chicken breasts)
2 T finely chopped parsley

Savory Pie Crust (from Bon Appetit Magazine, 2011)
3 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, chopped (cold) (you could use margarine if you prefer but the result won't be as good)
1/2 cup crisco
1/2 cup ice water (approximate)

To make the crust, mix the chopped butter with the flour/salt/baking powder by hand, and add in the crisco.  Follow the instructions from my apple pie, as they are similar - but this makes a harder, savory crust.  Then slowly add the ice water until it just forms a dough.  You may need a little less than the half cup that the recipe calls for.  Form into two balls of dough and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Roll out one for the bottom of the pie and one for the top, following the instructions for the apple pie bottom.  Make the top in a flat sheet to cover the chicken pot pie filling as you don't use a lattice for savory pies.

To make the filling, in a large saute pan add the onions and celery to the canola oil (or melted butter) and saute for two minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir the flour and cook three to four minutes for a blond roux.  Add the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for four to six minutes, until the sauce thickens to a gravy like consistency.  Add the half and half and continue to cook for four minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peas and chicken.  You can prepare a 9 inch circular pie like I did, or a rectangle pie in a nine by eleven inch baking dish.  Pour the filling on to of the bottom crust.  Roll out toe top crust and cover.  Tuck the degrees to form a tick edge and crimp the edges of the pie.  Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown and crispy.

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