Chicken Pot Pie – is there anything that sounds more complete and filling than the idea of baked veggies & meat in a crusty pie? It’s almost like a gigantic samosa – if a samosa was baked instead of fried, was a little less compact & was done in a dish.
My brush with chicken pot pies has always been restricted to the frozen or fast food category – quite unwholesome & very unappetizing. Which is why watching Ina Garten cook one from scratch got me all riled up. The recipe is a bit labour intensive and does take time – you have to marinate the chicken, bake it, make the pie crust, make the filling and then bake everything together. But oh, to crack the crust on your very own home made pot pie, pausing just a while to get a waft of the sumptuous filling within, before plunging in and devouring it, is so worth the effort.
A couple of things – If you are strapped for time, ignore the marinade and go straight for baking the chicken with salt and pepper.
I found Ina’s recipe, while full of flavour, lacked the punch of the assorted tastes that my Indian palate is used to. Usually I can forgo the lack of the punch in more meat dominated dishes because of the succulence of the meat. But not so for this dish. So I tried out a wine based marinade for the chicken and curry powder base for the filling. I found that a Pinot Noir marinade works well because the wine is gentler and doesn’t try to overpower the chicken. Also, there’s a hint of spice in this wine that gets along amiably with the curry flavour. If you like more aggressive wine flavour, I am told that Cabernet Sauvignon may be a good idea, but I haven’t had personal experience with marinating with it.
So, that’ s my two cents. On to the recipe now.
What We Used:For the marinade: Red Wine – 1 cup Olive oil – 2 tbsps Minced garlic cloves – 4 Chopped basil – 2 tbsps Red Pepper flakes – 1 tbsp Salt & Pepper – to taste Skinless, Chicken breasts – 2 Bowl – 1
Baking sheet – 1For the Filling: Chicken Stock – 3 cups Unsalted Butter – 1/4 of a stick Chopped shallots – 1 cup All-purpose flour – a little less than half a cup
Heavy cream – 1/8 cup Frozen vegetables (I used one that had chopped carrots, beans & corn) – 2 cups Parsley – a handful Curry Powder – 1/2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 tbsp Salt & Pepper – to taste Saucepan – 1
Big pot – 1For the pastry: All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups Salt – a little less than 1 tsp Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp Vegetable shortening – 1/4 cup Butter – 1 stick (room temperature)
Ice water – 1/4 cup Salt & Pepper – to taste
For the egg wash, 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl Food Processor – 1
Medium Oven Proof Bowls – 2
How We Did It:
- The Marinade:
- In the bowl; mix the wine, olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and let marinate for an hour or two in the refrigerator.
- The Filling:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake marinated chicken on baking sheet for 50 minutes or until cooked through.
- Set aside to cool, then remove meat from bone and cut into cubes.
- Heat the chicken stock in the small saucepan.
- In the big pot, melt the butter and add the shallots. Stir on medium flame till the shallots are translucent.
- Add the flour and keep stirring over low low flame.
- Add the heated chicken stock, simmer & stir over low flame till the sauce is thick.
- To the sauce; add salt, pepper, curry powder, red chilli powder and heavy cream.
- After a couple of minutes, add the cubed chicken, frozen vegetables, parsley and mix well.
- The Pastry:
- Into the food process, add flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add the shortening and butter and pulse. The shortening and butter makes it lumpy, so keep pulsing till the lumps are in the size of peas.
- With the motor running, add the ice water, a little at a time, till the dough is moistened.
- Take the dough out and knead into a ball on a well floured surface.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Prepare the egg wash by beating the egg with 1 tbsp of water.
- Divide the well rested dough into 2 portions and circles, a little bigger than the bowls.
- Spoon the filling equally into two medium oven proof bowls.
- Brush the outside edge of the bowl with the egg wash and place circle shaped dough on top.
- Crimp the dough so that it sticks to the edges of the bowl, make 3 slits on top, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with salt and pepper,
10. Place on baking sheet and bake for and an hour & fifteen minutes or till top is golden brown.