Recipe: Homemade chicken pot pie
Image: Excerpted from Flour, too by Joanne Chang
Recipe: Homemade chicken pot pie
This hearty and delicious homemade chicken pot pie created by Chef Corey of Flour Bakery + Cafe is sure to become your new cold weather staple.
- 1 3/4 cups/245 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup/225 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp cold milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 -in/12-mm pieces
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 small russet potato, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 -in/12-mm pieces
- 1 lb/455 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1- to 2-in/2.5- to 5-cm pieces
- 5 tbsp/45 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups/360 ml chicken stock
- 1 cup/140 g fresh or frozen English peas
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 large egg, beaten
1 To make the Pâte Brisée: Using the stand mixer or the handheld mixer and a medium bowl, beat together the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and beat on low speed for 1 to 1 1⁄2 minutes, or until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and lumps of butter the size of pecans are visible throughout. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Add the yolk-milk mixture all at once to the flour-butter mixture and beat on low speed for 20 to 30 seconds, or just until the mixture barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.
2 Dump the dough out onto a clean, dry work surface and gather it into a tight mound. Using the palm of your hand, smear the dough, starting at the top of the mound and sliding your palm down the sides of the mound along the work surface, until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the whole thing comes together. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and press down to make a flattened disk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks (wrap it in a second layer of plastic wrap if storing for more than 1 day or freezing it). If frozen, transfer the dough to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw for 1 day before using it.
3 Divide the dough into two pieces, one twice as large as the other. The smaller portion will be used for the top crust. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the larger dough portion into a circle about 12 in/30.5 cm in diameter and 1⁄8 in/3 mm thick. Roll the dough circle around the rolling pin and then unfurl it on top of the pie pan or dish. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, leaving a 1⁄4-in/6-mm lip extending beyond the pan rim (to allow for shrinkage in the oven). Refrigerate the pie shell for at least 30 minutes. The pie shell can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 weeks. The frozen pie shell can be baked directly from the freezer.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, and place a rack in the center of the oven.
5 Line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper, fill it with pie weights, and blind bake (see below) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the entire shell is light brown. Transfer the pie shell to a wire rack and leave the oven on. Remove the weights and the parchment and let the shell cool completely.
6 Meanwhile , make the filling: In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it softens a bit. Add the carrot, celery, and potato and saute, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chicken and continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken pieces start to turn opaque. Stir in the flour, mixing to coat all of the meat and vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes longer. By this time the filling will start to look a bit sludgy and a brown film should be forming on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the peas, thyme, salt, pepper, and cream and stir well. Simmer, scraping up the browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes, or until the filling thickens. Remove from the heat and spoon the filling into the prebaked pie shell.
7 Roll out the remaining dough portion into a circle about 10 in/25 cm in diameter and 1⁄8 in/3 mm thick. Roll the dough circle around the rolling pin and then unfurl it over the filled pie shell, letting the edge of the round overhang the rim of the pan by 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in/6 to 12 mm (you will trim off this excess once the pie is baked). Using the pastry brush, brush the top crust evenly with the egg and poke a hole in the center of the crust to allow steam to escape. (At this point, the pot pie can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. When you want to eat it, discard the plastic wrap, place the pie on the baking sheet, and put the frozen pie in the preheated oven. Add 20 to 25 minutes additional baking time, and tent a piece of aluminum foil over the crust if it starts to overbrown before the pie is ready.)
8 Place the pie on the baking sheet to catch any overflow. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the entire top crust is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Using a small paring knife, trim away any excess crust along the edge before serving.
When you bake a pie or quiche, you want the crust to be crisp and flaky. If you fill your pie crust while it is raw, however, the filling will shield it from the heat of the oven and the crust will end up underbaked and soggy. Blind baking to the rescue! To blind bake is to prebake your crust before you fill it. First, line your crust with a piece of parchment and fill it with pie weights, uncooked beans or rice, or even cleaned small rocks. Then bake the crust until it is partially or almost fully baked through, depending on the recipe. When you remove the pie weights and parchment and fill the crust with filling, the crust will continue baking, and your final product will boast a fully baked, flaky shell.
Serves: 6 to 8
Cheddar-scallion biscuit topping variation
If you prefer a bottomless pot pie with a buttery biscuit topping, omit the pate brisee. Prepare the filling as directed and spoon it into the unlined deep-dish pie pan. To make the biscuit topping, in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 3/4 cups/245 g all-purpose flour; 1/2 cup/100 g medium-coarse cornmeal; 1 1/2 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp kosher salt; 3 oz/85 g Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 -in/6-mm pieces; and 4 scallions, white and green parts, minced. Beat on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Cut 1/2 cup/115 g cold unsalted butter into 8 to 10 pieces, scatter the pieces over the flour mixture, and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is broken down into pieces the size of a pecan.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup/120 ml cold nonfat buttermilk, 1/2 cup/120 ml cold creme fraiche, and 1 cold whole egg until thoroughly mixed. On low speed, pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour-butter mixture and beat for 20 to 30 seconds, or just until the dough comes together. There will still be a little loose flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl. (Alternatively, if you don’t have a stand mixer, use a pastry cutter, two knives, or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter chunks are about the size of lima beans; use a wooden spoon to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.)
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Gather and lift the dough with your hands and turn it over in the bowl so that it starts to pick up the loose flour at the bottom. Turn the dough over several times until all of the loose flour is mixed in. Using a 1/2 -cup/120-ml measure, an ice-cream scoop, or a large spoon, drop mounds of the biscuit dough on top of the pot pie filling until the whole top is covered. Brush the biscuit tops with 1 egg yolk, beaten, and bake in the preheated 350°F/180°C oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
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Excerpted from Flour, too by Joanne Chang. Recipes Copyright © 2013 Joanne Chang, Photography copyright © 2013 Michael Harlan Turkell. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books, San Francisco. All rights reserved.