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“Easy-as-Pie” Chicken Pot Pie

“Easy-as-Pie” Chicken Pot Pie
This pot pie is for chilly weekend nights when you need a savory bite of flavors to warm you from the inside out. This is the perfect dish to make use of what you have – take a look in your freezer and whatever you have can be part of the party. Not only does this “use what you have” method cut on food costs, you’ll save a trip to the grocery store, and your ingredients stay fresh and moving.

 

The ooey gooey sauce that holds everything together is a velouté sauce – one of The Mother Load of Sauces you want to master for confidence in the kitchen. In this recipe, I start with a classic blond roux, which is characteristic of a velouté sauce. Then I added a touch of cream to bring this easy pie up a notch.

Basically what we are doing is turning this basic velouté into a sauce supreme!

As always, make it your own. Change it up, add something crazy, remove ingredients that don’t make you smile – no pot pie police here! Shrimp, lobster, crabmeat, fish, beef, pork, lamb, turkey, or just veggies – anything goes in your kitchen.

Just be sure to pair your protein with the appropriate stock and other ingredients that match the flavors of the main meat event.

Serves 6-8

[ingredients title= “Equipment”]

  • Chef knife
  • Sauce pot, 3 qtr.
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Rubber spatula
  • Rolling pin
  • 9 ” pie pan, metal, ceramic, or glass *
  • Pastry brush
  • Pie plate drip catcher (optional) *
  • Crust protectors, optional *

[/ingredients]

Chef Gerrie’s Equipment Notes:

* Pie pans come in three different materials: metal (aluminum/disposable or coated aluminum), ceramic, and glass.

Aluminum pans heat and cool quicker – so check your dish periodically to make sure you don’t burn. They are great for blind baking or par-baking crust before the filling is added. That’s what I’m using in this recipe.

Glass can sometimes shrink the pastry, or cause it to slide down. The view of the crust is better, but it takes a little longer to cook. I like them very much!

Ceramic pans are beautiful to present your masterpiece, but more expensive. Like glass pans, ceramic requires a longer bake time, and like aluminum, you need to keep an eye on it to prevent over-browning.

* Pie plate drip catcher: This is the perfect way to catch any over flow of liquid that may occur. You can also use a flat baking sheet to keep your oven clean. Who doesn’t want to avoid spills in the oven?

* Crust protectors: They’re the bomb! They perfectly cover the crusts’ edge and allows the center of the pie to brown beautifully without the hassle of forming a foil crust protector. With that said, a crust protector made from foil will work too!

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C+ All Purpose flour
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1-2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C heavy cream *
  • 1 C mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
  • 3/4 C shiitake mushrooms, thawed and drained *
  • 2 C chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 pkg. Pillsbury Pie Crust, defrosted *
  • 1 egg whisked with a little water to make an egg wash

[/ingredients]

Chef Gerrie’s Ingredients Notes:

* Heavy cream can be substituted with milk or half-and-half, but the richness and creaminess of the cream gives the pot pie an incredible taste.

* Frozen mushrooms — mixed and shiitake — have recently become easier to find in grocery stores. They are perfect to use in sauces, soups, and stews. I like to keep a bag in my freezer for recipes like these. You could, of course, use fresh mushrooms as well.

* Pillsbury Pie Crusts: One refrigerated package contains two pie crusts – which is what you’ll need. I like the Pillsbury brand and usually keep a box of these in my freezer…however, they’ll never come close to my homemade recipe…just sayin’. Be sure to take these out of the refrigerator or freezer to come to room temperature before rolling out.

[directions title=”Directions”]

1. Sauté onions in melted butter and crusted red pepper flakes until lightly golden and translucent, then add garlic.

.

Sauté onions and crushed red pepper flakes in butter.

2. Make your roux by stirring in flour and cooking over medium low heat.The roux is the glue for your sauce. You’re making a blond roux – light in color created by the right ratios of fat (butter in this case) and flour. The roux is necessary to make your velouté sauce, and the onion and garlic give it a tasty flavor (and smell).

Add flour to create the thickening agent, a blonde roux.

Cook the seasoned blonde roux to thicken.

3. Stir in chicken stock and fresh thyme sprigs. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and the sauce will begin to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.

Finish the velouté chicken stock and thyme.

4. Add heavy cream, drained vegetables, and shredded chicken. Stir well.

Add chicken, mushrooms, and mixed vegetables.

5. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
6. Dust counter lightly with flour before laying down your first pie crust – this will be the base of your pie. Roll the dough out to a diameter a little larger that your pie pan. Repeat with the second crust for the top of your pie.

Defrosted pie crusts and metal pie plate.

Roll out pie crusts.

7. Roll up first pie crust using rolling pin and place over pie pan, carefully molding it to the bottom with only slight pressure.Use a small piece of saran wrap rolled into a little ball, lightly dusted with four to form the crust to the bottom of the pan. This little tip will help you avoid tears in the dough.
8. Lightly brush crust with egg wash over the bottom to the edges and add filling. Be sure to remove the thyme sprigs before adding the filling!

Fill bottom-of-pie crust with pot pie filling.

9. Top with second crust and press the edges to close. Make it pretty by using both hands to form the crust into a “wave” design – this method is referred to as a “flute”. Brush the crust with egg wash and cut vents in the top to allow steam to escape.

Top with second pie crust, flute edges to seal, top with egg wash, and slash for steam escape.

10. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. While the oven is getting hot, put the pie in the freezer to set up prior to baking. This will help seal and stop the dough from shrinking and/or sliding.
11. Place pie plate drip catcher and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cover with crust protectors and continue to bake until the center of the pie is a beautiful golden brown.
12. Remove from oven and let rest on a wire rack, or counter top and get ready for the explosion of flavor in your mouth!

Golden topped chicken pot pie…Mmmmmmm!

[/directions]

 

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