Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How To: Chicken Pot Pie

One of my favourite things about the changing of the season is the beginning of that season's dish.
 As fall arrives and we move into winter I start my comfort food cooking. Usually when I cook I have a problem with making too much food so I have begun to freeze half of what I make, so my proportions are way off for a normal family of 4. 
That is part of the deal I find when cooking without a recipe, you end up usually making too much, but I think that might be a personal problem too. 
I kind of have issues with thinking their won't be enough, always preparing for a depression I guess! 
As I have mentioned before I usually cook without a recipe and this chicken pot pie recipe is no different. The only place I use a recipe is when it comes to baking, you can't really mess with baking unless you know the science behind it.
So first I start with my ingredients:


I have garlic, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, cooked chicken, chicken stock, flour, salt and pepper, butter and extra virgin olive oil. The day before I made chicken stock but store bought is fine.
First I put a couple of glug's of oil in the bottom of my pan with a slab of butter.


I throw in the minced garlic and the onions and mix them around.


I then throw all the other vegetables in and season with salt and pepper.


Another slab of butter goes in and I and let that melt within the vegetables.


Next I mix in flour to make a kind of roux amongst the vegetables.


Once the flour is incorporated I add the stock until the vegetables are basically covered and I begin to stir. I leave this on the stove to thicken. At this point I taste it all and adjust the flavour with salt and pepper.


At this point I get on with the pastry. Preheat the oven to 400F.
I cube 1/2 cup of cold butter and add it to 2 cups of flour, move the butter around the flour until it is coated and then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes to make sure the butter mixture is extra cold.


Once it is done in the freezer tip it into a food processor and pulse until it looks like cornmeal.


Then I add 1 beaten egg with ice water down the shoot until the dough sticks to the blade. If there is not enough water egg mixture then add some more cold water to make it stick to the blade.


Turn the dough out onto floured surface and form into a round disk. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge.


By this point the chicken mixture should be thickened and pour half the mixture into a baking dish and I put the other half in containers to be frozen  for another meal. If you are feeding more people use all the mixture.


Roll out the dough and cover you baking dish full of the chicken mixture, crimp and trim edges to seal dough to dish.


Make an egg wash with beaten egg and water and use a pastry brush to spread egg wash over pastry. I had extra pastry so I made cut outs for fun to place on top.


I bake it in the over for about 30 minutes or so, until the pastry is golden brown and the inside is bubbling.
There you have it! Chicken pot pie, it can also be adapted to make lovely Turkey pot pie.
I hope you enjoy!

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