Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Traditional Chicken Pot Pie in 7 Simple Phases

Chicken Pot Pie has always been one of my favorite dishes; however, I've actually only made it twice in my entire life. The first time, I used one of my aunt's recipes, but then I lost her recipe, so I was well, lost. I googled A LOT of recipes, but they either only made one measly 9-inch pie crust, or they had too much butter and not enough vegetables. I also found a lot of recipes that called for roasting the chicken, but why roast it when you can boil it and make your own chicken stock? I stumbled upon some article discussing the 3 basic parts of a pot pie--crust, gravy, filling. I can make crust, I can make gravy, and tossing some meat and veggies in shouldn't be that hard, right? It wasn't. Using my tried and true methods for cooking each element, I came up with what I consider a perfect pot pie recipe. It make a large 9X13 casserole, uses homemade broth, and has plenty of veggies (I even put in peas, just for Granny's benefit).

For this pot pie, I used chicken breasts from Legacy Manor Farm, which is home to some of the happiest meat in the area (seriously, go visit the farm, it's awesome). It would also be easy to make this a vegetarian recipe by using a vegetable stock, omitting the chicken, and perhaps throwing in some extra vegetables.

Traditional Chicken Pot Pie in 7 Simple Phases

Phase 1: Stock Talk--Invest Your Time Wisely and Multi-task
3 - Large Chicken Breasts
3 - Stalks of Celery
*Several Sprigs of Parsley, Rosemary, and Thyme
*Salt and Pepper

- Fill large stock pot 1/2 to 2/3 full of water, dump ingredients listed above into pot.
- Bring pot to a boil, reduce to medium and cook at a slow boil until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove chicken from stock, set aside, and shred when cool enough to handle.
- Reserve 6 cups of the broth, and then freeze any that remains.

Phase 2: Vita-Meata-Vegetables
6 - Carrots
6- Small Potatoes
1 Cup - Frozen Peas (or more if you want, gross)

- Place in medium to large pan and add just enough water to cover vegetables
- Bring contents to a boil, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Drain vegetables and set aside.

Phase 3: All Aboard the Gravy Train
1/2 Stick of Butter
1 Medium Onion, Diced
6 Cups - Broth
1 Cup - Milk
1/2 Cup - Flour
- In a medium sauce pan, sauteƩ onions in butter 'til onions are translucent.
- Add broth to pan, and bring to a boil
- Using a jar or other sealed container, add milk & flour and shake 'til combined.
- Slowly whisk milk-flour combo into boiling broth.
- Reduce to simmer and continue stirring 'til broth is desired consistency.

Phase 4: It's as Easy as Pie
3 Cups - Flour
1 Teaspoon - Salt
1 Heaping Cup - Crisco
Approx 1/3 Cup - Iced Water

- Mix salt with flour.
- Cut in shortening 'til the size of peas (ugh, even the mention of peas)
- Slowly mix in water, 'til the flour will just hold it's shape.
- Divide dough into 2 pieces (one for the base crust and one for the top)
- Roll out bottom dough on floured surface and transfer to 9X13 casserole.
- Roll out top dough 'til you're ready to put a lid on things.

Phase 5: Come Together Right Now
- Add shredded chicken and reserved vegetables to gravy mixture.
- Dump the proverbial pot pie guts into the casserole.
- Place top dough over mixture, pinch edges to seal, and then poke several vents into the top.
Phase 6: Hot in Here
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Bake for 45 minutes or until top crust is nice and golden brown.

Phase 7: Gonna Get Dirrrrty
-Make someone else do the dishes.

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