Monday, November 19, 2012
Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust
Okay folks, this is a good one. A REALLY good one! I have been tweaking this recipe for 13 years now. I found a recipe for the crust many years ago and I have been making adjustments and changes over time. This is one of those really fantastic comfort food recipes that just makes you happy. Chicken, veggies, creamy filling and a crisp, flaky cheesy crust to hold it all. It takes a bit of forethought to make the crust and chill it but once it all comes together, it is completely worth it!
Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust
recipe by Domestic Diva adapted from several sources
1 1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c chilled shortening, cut in cubes/chunks
1/4 c butter chilled, cut in cubes
1 c grated sharp or medium cheddar
1/3 c COLD water mixed with 1/2 tsp vinegar
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in fats until coarse crumbs form. Cut in cheddar cheese. If you have a food processor fitted with an S-blade, this is a great way to make this. Slowly add the water until the dough comes together. You may not need all of it. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in fridge several hours (2-3) or in the freezer if you are short on time, 30min-1 hour.
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
few cracks of pepper
1 c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream (35%)
1-2 tsp chicken bouillon or bouillon paste
2 c cooked cubed chicken
1/4 c small diced onion
1/3 c sliced FRESH mushrooms
1 large or 2 small carrots peeled and cut into coins
1-2 ribs celery sliced small
1 medium potato cut into small cubes
2 handfuls frozen peas
Add potatoes to boiling water in a small pot. Cook a few minutes and then add carrots. Cook a few more minutes until partly cooked but not soft. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Cook onions until translucent. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned and smooth. Add broth slowly and whisk until smooth (well as smooth as a sauce with chunks of onions can be). Stir in bouillon and salt and pepper. You can add a small pinch of thyme if you like, it is a great flavour compliment to the chicken. It is a matter of personal taste. Stir in the cream once the broth has thickened and bubbles. Turn heat down and stir in potatoes, carrots, chicken, and veggies. You can really use whatever veggies you like, these are just the ones I use. For the chicken you can use leftover roasted chicken, a rotisserie chicken cut into bite size pieces, cooked cubed chicken breasts or whatever works for you. My preference is to get the bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts from Costco and place them on a foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and s & p. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes until cooked through. Cool until they can be handled without burning your hands off and then pull of the skin and the bones and discard. They come apart fairly easily, it is much easier than it sounds. You can put your fingers between the bone and the meat and just pull and it comes apart once it is cooked through. Cut the leftover meat up and use in a variety of things like soups, stews, sandwiches, salads and pot pies, of course! The chicken will keep in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a while. Moving on .....
Simmer the filling for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the crust from the freezer or fridge and cut it in half. Flour a board or your counter and roll it out. It should be about 11 inches across. I actually use two pieces of wax paper to roll out pastry. My Baba taught me that years ago and it has always worked for me so I still do it. Just put your pastry between the two sheets and roll it out. It won't stick and it gets fairly uniform in thickness. Use your pie plate to see if you have rolled it big enough to cover the plate. Place half the rolled crust in a deep dish pie plate and allow edges to hang over. Pour in the filling. Roll out the other half of the crust, about 10 inches, and cut 2 vents in the center. Place on top of the filling in the pie plate, trim and flute your edges. I like to fold mine under and then push with my thumb to make a sort of scalloped edge. You can use your fork or fingers or some other fancy tool you might have.
Bake at 425F (yes, I know that sounds hot but just trust me) for 35 minutes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes once it is baked to set a bit or else when you cut into it, it will just ooze everywhere. Serve it with green beans and a nice salad and enjoy this ultimate in comfort food. I promise you will not be disappointed!