chicken pot pie

I’m breathing a sigh of relief because my chicken pot pie recipe has been in recipe purgatory for years (yes, you read that correctly) and I’m finally ready to share it with the world. What’s so complicated about pot pie? Absolutely nothing. I was down the endless rabbit hole of changing small recipe details here and there- until I woke up one day and realized my blog is over two years old and I still haven’t posted my pot pie recipe! So here it is; election week 2018 and I can’t think of anything better to soothe your anxious nerves than homemade chicken pot pie. It’s oooh so comforting, and if I can be so bold, it’s got satisfying depth of flavor that I’ve literally been mulling (and drooling) over for years.

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The pie crust is an ode to biscuits, because when I eat pot pie I want it to feel reminiscent of biscuits and gravy, but a more exquisite and grown up version (and also fewer calories than gravy). The filling marks the start of my love affair with marjoram and cream sherry, so please don’t skimp on either! They really make the pie sublime. Happy baking, friends! Stay tuned for Thanksgiving themed recipes coming the next few weeks.


CHICKEN POT PIE

makes one 8×8 pan or 1 pie dish (at least 2” deep, at least 10” diameter)

filling ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper (a heavy dusting of each for the chicken)
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large shallot, diced (or 2 small shallots)
2.5 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of bouillon paste
3/4 pound crimini mushrooms, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup cream sherry
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup carrot, diced (about 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup celery, diced (about 1 stalk celery)
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup heavy cream

dough ingredients:
2.5 cups all purpose flour (325g)
heaping 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cold water, plus 1 or 2 tablespoons if needed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream (120g)
1 egg, beaten, for brushing on top of the crust

MAKE YOUR DOUGH:
Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, chop/mix in the butter until the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than a small pea. Add the water, vinegar, and sour cream. Using a spatula or spoon, gather the dough together into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, give the dough 2 or 3 kneads. Put the dough in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to one or two days in advance.

MAKE YOUR FILLING:
Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Chop your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and toss into the dutch oven. Season the chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Cook the chicken pieces until all the pink is gone from the center, stirring occasionally. Spoon the cooked chicken into a bowl and set aside. Leave any remaining seasoning or oil in the pot for the next step.

In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons butter, diced onion, and diced shallots. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are just starting to brown, and have cooked down considerably. Salt lightly. Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock and bouillon in a separate pot over low heat, whisking the bouillon to incorporate. Once the stock is warm and the bouillon all incorporated, turn the burner off.

When the onions are cooked, add mushrooms, garlic, 2 tablespoons butter, and sauté for another 5-8 minutes over medium heat, until the mushrooms have cooked down significantly.

Then add sherry, marjoram, bay leaves and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the flour for a minute or so, then add the warmed broth, a little bit at a time. Bring the pie filling to a gentle simmer. Then add the carrots, celery, peas, and cooked chicken (and any juices that have accumulated with the chicken). Bring to a gentle simmer. Finally, add the cream and do some taste testing. Add salt/pepper if needed.

ASSEMBLE:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Ladle or pour the filling into your pie dish, and as you fill the dish, pull out the bay leaves.

Grab your dough from the refrigerator and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. You’ll want a large circle, just under ½ an inch thick. Cut a circle roughly ½ inch larger than the diameter of your pie dish. Place the crust on top of the filled pie dish (it should hang over the edge slightly). Pinch the dough lightly onto the edge of the pie dish. Use the extra pie dough to decorate your pie top with any fun shapes or cutouts! Brush the dough evenly with a beaten egg.

BAKE:
Bake at 375 F for approximately 35 min, until the pie top is golden brown and cooked through (I recommend putting a baking tray underneath to catch drips). Best eaten the first day, but will reheat well for 2 or 3 days.

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