Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Pie For All Seasons

I know, we miss the summer, it was over way, way, way too fast. But the coming of fall means the coming of PIE. And I don’t just mean the sweet pies, although I do love pumpkin pie. And apple pie. And pecan pie. Etc. But I also have great love for the savory pies…seafood, beef, chicken…they are an incredibly satisfying comfort food at the end of a long chilly day.
And me being me, I am always looking for the short cut. Not that I don’t appreciate a long day’s worth of cooking in the kitchen, but sometimes a guy likes a little pot pie on, say, a Wednesday. In those cases you have to cut a few corners, and the trick is to do that while still getting all the old-fashioned pot pie taste. If you know what I mean.

chicken pot pie

So this one gives you all the warm, comforting, creamy, chickeny goodness of pot pie…without all the time and effort that usually goes into it. don’t tell anyone, we’ll just keep it between us. The secret is…pre-cooked chicken and puff pastry. That’s all that is standing in between you and a supper that will make you feel like everything is right with the world. Now, this DOES go a bit over my 30 minutes or under rule for cooking during the week, but that just goes to show you how flexible I really am. (That racket in the background is my family laughing their heads off at that comment.) Basically you make a lovely thick chicken and vegetable base, and instead of all the fuss of making a pie crust…you use puff pastry. Which is usually in the freezer section next to the frozen fruit. You pop a square of the pastry on top of the base and voila! Fuss-free chicken pot pie. How great is that?

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie Cups

I will tell you that as we were eating this wonderful dish, fabulous as it is, it gave me the idea that you could use the same base but substitute a mashed potato crust on the top. Stay tuned to this channel for that one..but in the meantime, here’s the original.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
4 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
½ c. flour
Salt and pepper
4 c. chicken broth
3 c. cooked chicken, shredded
1 c. frozen peas
1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg yolk
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add carrot and onion and saute for 6 minutes.
Add flour and stir to coat. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add broth to carrot mixture whisking constantly. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
Add chicken, peas, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Divide mixture among 4 single serving baking dishes.
Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 4 equal pieces.
Cut small vents into pastry and lay pieces over each serving dish.
Mix egg yolk with a little water and brush over the top of pastry.
Bake until pastry is golden, about 30 minutes.

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