Chicken pot pies are not created equal. This one wins.
As a kid, when chicken pot pies were pulled out of the freezer it meant my parents were going out. My oldest brother always baked them according to package directions, but invariably the bottom crust was soggy and the top edges were black. Dubious pieces of chicken were inspected and often rejected. Even though my mother was a great cook and baker, for some reason we never had a homemade version.
The humble pot pie goes back centuries and they have always been as good as the cook that makes them and as good as the ingredients that go into them. Last night’s chicken pot pies were extraordinary. Superb. I will even go so far as to say they scored a perfect ten on the comfort food-scale. Our forks broke through that flaky, golden pastry into a dish chock-full of vegetables and chicken baked in a savory sauce.
If you have puff pastry in your freezer (I always do), the chances are good that you have everything else on-hand to make these.
Recipe notes: My ramekins were slightly larger than the 1 ½ capacity dishes specified, so instead of the pastry draping over the dish, it got tucked inside. It worked perfectly! Also, the original recipe didn’t include the white wine, but after tasting the sauce I thought it needed a little more complexity. Good call on my part.
Modified from a recipe from the Martha Stewart Living magazine, this recipe makes two pot pies.
Special equipment needed:
(2) 1 ½ cup capacity ovenproof ramekins, or similar baking dishes
2 tablespoon flour, plus more for dusting work surface
½ package (1 sheet) puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ onion, diced (1 cup)
1 carrot, peeled and thinly-sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
I egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place pastry sheet on lightly floured surface and cut two circles, ½-inch larger than diameter of dishes. Cut vents. Refrigerate on parchment-lined baking sheets until ready to use.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, celery and potatoes until soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and then add the chicken broth and wine. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until chicken becomes opaque. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Divide filling between 2 dishes. Top with pastry, pressing to seal. Brush pastry with eggs. Bake on baking sheet until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
It uses shop bought puff pastry, because who can be bothered making their own. And frankly once one makes their own puff pastry and sees how much butter goes into it; one is slightly put off eating it anyway.
It is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken but if you don’t have that then about substitute it with about 250g chicken thighs per person, boned and cut into chunks