Those Winter Comforts... Chicken Pot Pie

The moody winter has crept into the DMV. I have left home rocking the snow hat and scarf one day... to peeling off my jacket while driving home in a desperate attempt not to melt the next. That does not change the fact that I hate walking out of my office to a pitch black world. Where did the time go? The first few days makes my heart pang but after awhile the chilly air becomes invigorating. Bottom line- dark or not- you're leaving work! Rejoice!

Don't worry team, we'll get through the winter. In order to do so in a respectful fashion, you need this chicken pot pie recipe. It's warm and flavorful, packed full of chicken and vegetables.

Use the veggies you like, but the traditional mix is peas, small onions, and carrots. Honestly, I was not feeling the tiny onions. I threw in some broccoli just for kicks... it's one of my favorite veggies.

The best part of this chicken pot pie is the delicious flaky crust. It's not a whole pie- just the top pie crust. My tummy is growling just thinking about it.

However. This is time consuming. Plan ahead! You can make the chicken or the crust a day or so early. Plus- this is pretty hearty portion. Make sure you have some hungry people on call.

PS. A note worthy trans-racial dialogue on Chicken Pot Pie:

me: i got chocolate-hazelnut pot de creme, Japanese noodles, and chicken pot pie to blog. which one...
mike: chicken...it never fails. blackness speaks. But CPP is delicious and i loves it so i would go with that
me: oh hell i just like snorted trying not to laugh...'blackness speaks'- awful
mike: Whatcha mean? I was talking about the bold lettering. Man you racist! But naw its true....I love me some chicken for what Dave Chappelle said was being "genetically predisposed to liking chicken." Or some shit. But that is a f*ckin delish animal. Dont put any of what i said in your blog.


PSS. I found my camera charger this past week! Sorry for the crappy images!

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Ina Garten

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (or whatever chicken meat you have available)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
2 chicken bouillon cubes (if you use Better than Bouillon, the exchange is 4 teaspoons)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions, blanched for 2 minutes
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Pastry

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken. Note: can be done a day in advance.

Make the pastry while the chicken is cooking... mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Note: can be done a day in advance.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.

In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. While this is going, blanch your carrots and whole onions then set aside.

Once the butter and onions are done, add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.