It’s never surprised me that food is an addiction. Every time someone tells me they forgot to eat I know there are two different types of people: those with the habit and those without. A junkie is always thinking about their next fix and would never ignore it. This morning was a prime example, I was enjoying a lazy Saturday morning and was lying in bed watching foodtv and reading. It was an episode of the Barefoot Contessa I had never seen – one where she makes chicken pot pie. It is something I have never really been a fan of, eaten only a handful of times and never made myself. Even the name is so simple that it doesn’t really invite curiosity. But of course Ina can make anything exciting. From the moment she wrapped up those little packages I could think of nothing else. I had to have chicken pot pie.
I did some research on the web, read the Joy of Cooking, and looked up Nigella’s and Ina’s versions. I figured out how I could freeze them successfully and what ingredients I would need. I hit the supermarket as well as the local kitchen store to pick up all the supplies. I roasted the chicken and even made the pastry by hand. The results? Absolute success! Four pies made: two eaten and two frozen and designed to go straight from the freezer to the oven. My recipe is a blend of several, the pastry recipe is from the Joy of Cooking and the filling is similar to Ina’s with potatoes added.
[print_this]Chicken Pot Pie:
2 1/2C flour
1/3C +1T ice water (you may need more)
2 chicken breasts bone in (or ~3C chicken cubed or torn into bite-sized pieces)
1/3C frozen butter, diced into 1cm cubes
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium waxy potatoes(half diced, half chunky chopped)
4C chicken stock
1C frozen peas
egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten)
1. In a food processor combine and pulse flour, salt and sugar.
2. Add fat evenly over the top of mixture. Cut the fat in in 1 second pulses until the size of peas.
3. Add the water and mix until mixture starts to form bigger pieces. You may need more then 1/3C +1T water, add more water a tablespoon at a time. You want the dough to be able to stick together when pressed but not be too wet. It should not form a ball like when you are making bread dough.
4. Split the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Quickly press each ball into a disc (avoid over handling) and store in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Can be frozen if there is extra. Defrost in the fridge not freezer.
1. Roast the chicken in olive oil, salt and pepper at 350F for 40 minutes allow to cool and cube the breast meat and set aside.
2. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes, add the celery and carrots and allow it to sweat for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the flour and stir. Allow the flour to cook for a few minutes. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil to thicken. Add the salt and pepper.
4. When thickened stir in the chicken and peas.
5. Spoon into casserole or casseroles.
6. Roll dough out to 1Cm thick with enough for an inch around the sides. Brush the egg wash and cover the casserole, egg wash side down. Pinch the sides to seal.
7. Cut a few slashes in the top of the pastry. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8. Bake for an hour at 375F.
They will freeze better before baking. Build until step 7 and cover in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and freeze. If freezing make sure to use boiling(waxy) and not baking potatoes. Be sure to brush the underside of the dough with egg wash to help prevent the dough from becoming soggy. Cook directly from frozen – if your baking dish supports freezer and oven but not freezer to oven, bring it up to temperature slowly by starting it in a cold oven. It will take longer to bake if frozen.[/print_this]