Chicken Pot Pie with a Puff Pastry Crust
One of my kids’ favorite meals is a classic pot pie. I am not too fond of pie crust (a bit too heavy for me), so I make my pot pies with store-bought puff pastry. The puff pastry is crispy and adds a lot of texture to the dish. I like to load the filling with a lot of fresh herbs for extra flavor and then bake them in mini individual sized pie dishes (le Creuset makes really sturdy and cute looking ones). The little pot pies are a great option to serve for an elegant dinner – to serve as the main course.
1. ¾ lbs of boneless chicken breast (I used organic chicken)
2. ½ of a large red onion
3. 2 thin fresh carrots
4. 2 celery sticks
5. 2-3 small fingerling potatoes
6. 1/3 cup of frozen petit peas
7. 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
8. ½ cup of chicken broth/stock
9. ½ cup of half-and-half
10. A few sprigs of fresh herbs – I used some oregano, thyme and terragon)
11. One sheet of puff pastry
12. Salt and pepper to taste
13. 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
14. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
15. 1 egg for basting
1. Poach the chicken breast over low heat in about 2-3 cups of water until the chicken is cooked through and there is no pink left in the middle. When the chicken cools down, shred the chicken using a pair of forks or a sharp knife.
2. Peel and dice the red onion.
3. In a large heavy bottomed pan, add the butter and heat over low heat for about 10-12 seconds until the butter melts and then add the chopped onions and sauté them in the butter. Stir frequently.
4. While the onions are sautéing, peel and thinly slice the carrots.
5. Also chop the potatoes into small bite sized pieces.
6. Slice the celery sticks into thin pieces.
7. When the onions look a little translucent, add the carrots to the pot and cook for a minute or two over medium heat.
8. Add the potato pieces and stir everything.
9. Add the chopped celery pieces and mix everything together as well.
10. Add the thawed petite peas and stir everything together.
11. Add salt and pepper and mix everything and let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables seem done to al dente level tenderness.
12. Somewhere about now, preheat the oven at about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Chop the herbs (whatever kind you prefer) finely and add to the pot and stir.
14. Part the vegetables a little bit to make a small well in the middle of the pot and add the olive oil to the well.
15. Add the all-purpose flour in the middle of the well and mix it a little in the middle of the pan. Then stir everything together and let the flour get mixed in and a little cooked. Let this mixture stay over medium heat for a minute of two and keep stirring frequently.
16. Add the shredded chicken to the vegetable mixture and stir.
17. Add the chicken stock to the pot and stir again.
18. Add the half and half and stir again. Let this filling get cooked for another minute or two.
19. When the pot pie filling is a little cooled. Pour it is small pie pans in equal quantities.
20. Roll out the puff pastry dough and cut it in pieces big enough to cover the pie pans.
21. Fit the pieces of rolled out pastry shell over the pie pan and squeeze the sides to seal the filling.
22. Cut a few vents in the middle of the pie shell to let steam out.
23. Break open the egg and whisk it completely and with a basting brush, paste the top of the pot pies with the egg.
24. Place the pot pies over a cookie sheet and then place the cookie sheet in the hot oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the puff pastry gets golden brown and crispy on top.
25. Serve the pot pies while they are still piping hot!