Chicken Pot Pie
This pie crust is intended for a savory pie. It has no sugar.
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs cold shortening
8 Tbs cold butter cut into small cubes
1 cup Ice water (you should not use all of this)
Stir the salt into the flour. Cut the shortening and butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until the pieces are pea sized or smaller. The original recipe uses a food processor to make this dough, however I do not. Slowly drizzle some of the ice water into the mixture, and toss the flour with a fork, keep doing this until there are no visible areas of actual flour. It should look sort of damp and crumbly. When its like that, it should hold together when you press it into a ball. The recipe called for 5 Tablespoons of water, but I'm using more flour than they did. You should not need more than 8 tablespoons (that would be 1/2 cup) of ice water. But sometimes mine takes more than I expect. This should be enough crust to line the bottom and top of a chicken pot pie made in a 9x13 inch pan. Wrap this in plastic and put it in the fridge until the filling is done. When the filling IS done, do this: I use about 2/3 of the dough to line the bottom of the pan. Roll it out so that it is 2 inches larger all the way around than the pan turned upside down on top of it. Roll the other 1/3 of the dough out flat so that it is just a bit bigger then the pan, and cut some shapes or lines into it for steam vents. I often use 4 lines to make it look like a chicken footprint (sort of like the greek letter psi) pi (also a greek letter!) and another chicken foot. So it looks like [ ψ π ψ ] on top of my pie :) Drape this over the top of the filled pie and then crimp the edges of the bottom and top crusts together to seal it.
Filling1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 cups chicken broth (homemade, canned, or made up using chicken bouillon)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into whatever size pieces of carrot you like in a pot pie
2 celery ribs cut how you like them. I slice mine lengthwise and crosswise so they end up as little cubes.
salt and pepper, to taste.
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk (any kind, we use almond milk due to allergies)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
[The recipe also calls for 3 Tbsp sherry, 1 cup frozen peas, and 3 Tbsp fresh parsley. I always forget to add the sherry and parsley, and my family doesn't like peas- we sometimes add 1 cup frozen corn instead of peas, but not always ]
1. Prepare the crust first, and put it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can make biscuit dough and put biscuits spaced about 1/4 inch apart on top of the pie. Get the dough ready either way.
2. Preheat the oven to 400. Put the broth in a pan with the chicken. Cover it and bring it to a simmer on the stove, simmer this for 8 to 10 minutes, untill the chicken is cooked all the way through. Put the chicken in a large bowl, and pour the broth into a large glass measuring cup, or a container big enough to hold it all, and also easy to pour from later.
3. Put oil in the now empty pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Ad the onion, carrots, and celery and saute for about 5 minutes, until they start getting tender. Add salt and pepper While the vegetables are cooking, cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces, or shred it with a couple of forks.. Put the chicken back in the bowl. Once the vegetables are done, put them in the bowl with the chicken.
4. Melt the butter in the pan that is once again empty, turn the heat down to medium now. Ad the flour and cook until it is golden, about a minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, milk, and thyme. Bring this to a simmer and continue to simmer for about a minute to thicken. season with salt and pepper. [This is where I am supposed to add the sherry, but forget].
5. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. OR stir the chicken and vegetables into the sauce (depending on which container can handle the entire amount). [Stir in the peas (or corn) and parsley. ]
6. This is where I line the 9x13 baking dish with dough, I like it wide enough that a little bit hangs over the edge all the way around. Pour the filling into the crust, spread it out evenly, then put the top crust on. Crimp the edges all the way around. Now cook this for 30 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes, or longer, it is still hot enough to burn your mouth after 10 minutes.
VariationsPotatoes: You can add potatoes when you add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook it with them. I suggest using red potatoes or yukon gold, the texture is different from the russets, and I think it is nicer in pie.
Bacon and Corn: Instead of using vegetable oil in step 3, cut up 4 pieces of bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook it in the pan until the bacon pieces are crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and put it on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan and cook the vegetables in the bacon grease. Put the bacon pieces in the bowl with the cut up chicken and vegetables. Add 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn (but no peas!) at the step when you would have added peas.
This recipe was only slightly modified from The Cook's Country Cookbook recipe.
Next time I make this, I'll take pictures of the various stages (like what the pie dough should look like at various stages, that is sort of hard to describe).