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Chicken Pot Pie

My husband has a friend Gary who likes chicken pot pie, so I have been trying some different recipes.  One day when I was cleaning up my studio I found an older copy of Cook’s Illustrated magazine folded open to this recipe.  The magazine was dated February, 2006.  The intro said that it is a lot of work but worth it.  Since my friend Shara was coming that week, and I knew that she liked chicken pot pie, I thought I would give it a try.  Funny how things work out. 🙂

It was a lot of work…and delicious.  One nice thing  is that you can make it ahead of time.

Here is a copy of the original recipe Chicken Pie Feb 2006 from Cook’s Illustrated.   The only change I made to the recipe was I substituted a diced potato instead of the pearl onions.  That saved the step of browning the pearl onions separately.

I made the recipe this weekend for Gary and a group of friends.  I had a number of people asking for the recipe so I thought I would share it with you.  Sorry I did not get a picture of the whole pie baked before we dug into it.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 6 to 8

Substitute 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts for the whole chicken, if desired. We recommend chilling the rolled and shaped dough in the freezer. The dough can be prepared the day before and refrigerated. The chicken and vegetables can also be prepared the day before.

Dough

  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • I 0 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2- inch pieces and frozen for I0 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice water

Chicken and Vegetables

  • I teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 1/2 pounds), cut into4 pieces (2 breast pieces, 21eg quarters, wings discarded) and trimmed of excess fat
  • Potato cut in ½- inch pieces (about I cup, or 5 ounces)
  • Table salt and ground black pepper

Sauce

  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (unthawed, about 31/2 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons juice from I lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Table salt and ground black pepper

1. TO MAKE THE DOUGH: Process flour and salt together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until size of large peas, about six to eight 1-second pulses.

2. Mix sour cream and 4 tablespoons ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1- second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry, and does not hold together, add l to 2 additional tablespoons water and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, three to five 1-second pulses.

3. Turn dough onto work surface. Shape into ball and flatten to 5-inch disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, l to 2 hours. (Dough can be refrigerated overnight.)

4. TO ROAST CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES: Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper middle positions; heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until oil just begins to smoke; swirl skillet to coat evenly with oil. Brown chicken pieces skin side down until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes; turn chicken pieces and brown until golden on second side, 3 to 4 min longer. Transfer chicken to large plate; drain all but l tablespoon fat.

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5. Set skillet over medium-high heat and add onion, carrots, celery, and salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Return chicken pieces to skillet skin side up and place in oven on lower-middle rack. Roast until thickest part of breast registers about 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and thickest part of thigh and drumstick registers about 175 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes. Using potholder or oven mitt, remove skillet from oven. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest l hour. Set skillet with vegetables aside.

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6. TO ROLL OUT THE DOUGH: (If dough has been chilled longer than 2 hours, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.) Dust 16 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper liberally with flour; roll, flute, and cut vent holes. Transfer parchment and dough to baking sheet; chill in freezer until ready to use, at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for l hour).  Tip: I laid my dish on back of paper and traced around it.

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7. TO MAKE SAUCE AND ASSEMBLE PIE: While chicken rests, return skillet with vegetables to medium-high heat. Add chicken broth and any juices from chicken platter and bring to simmer, scraping sides and bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Pour contents of skillet through medium-mesh strainer set over large bowl; transfer vegetables from strainer to separate bowl and refrigerate. After fat rises to surface of broth, 15 to 20 minutes, skim with ladle or large spoon and discard. (You should have about 3 1/2 cups broth.)

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8. When chicken has rested, remove and discard skin. Using fingers or fork, pull chicken off bones into 2-inch shreds and l -inch chunks; refrigerate until ready to use (you should have about 4 1/2 cups chicken). Wipe skillet clean; melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cook stirring constantly, until mixture darkens slightly and becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and cream and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and coats back of spoon, 8 to l 0 minutes. Turn off  heat, add chicken, reserved vegetables, peas, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste; gently stir to combine. Remove dough from freezer, lift off parchment paper, and place dough on top of filling. Bake on upper-middle rack at 450 degrees until crust begins to brown around edges, about 15 minutes· reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

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I was thinking about how I could make this recipe a little easier and still taste good.

  • I was thinking I could just use chicken breast cut in small pieces.  I could then brown them in the pan until they are completely cooked and remove them. Then brown the vegetables for a little longer so that they are cooked through. I could then skip the roasting in the oven and continue with the rest of the recipe.
  • I could also use premade pie crust or puffed pastry for the topping.
  • I also make my own brown chicken broth which adds to the flavor.  To make the broth I place the neck, back and wings in a baking dish in the over at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.  I then remove the parts and place them in my crockpot.  I place a little water in the baking dish and scrape to remove any of the brown drippings.  I then place that in the crockpot and add an onion, celery, carrots, a bay leaf, some peppercorns and salt.  Fill with water to an inch of the brim and cook on low for 8 – 12 hours.  Run through a strainer.   You can use the broth immediately or freeze or can for later.

The bottom line is I have made this recipe 3 times in the last few months and would make it again.  And I agree it is a lot of work but worth it.

I hope you will enjoy making it.

Jane

PS.  Here is a printable version of the about recipe. Chicken Pot Pie

2 thoughts on “Chicken Pot Pie

  1. Yum! I make lazy chicken pot pie–I put biscuits on top, and to make it even easier, I use the delicious frozen biscuit from a local store! Lol

    Thank you for sharing.😚

    1. You are very welcome. The biscuits are another good idea. I love good food, but don’t want to be cooking all day!

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