chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Dinner, What Next? | Tags: , , , , , , , |

In life there are ups…and there are downs.  Successes and failures.  Good hair days and bad.  Life is about balance.  My run-in with chicken pot pie is one of those perfect balances of “delicious” and “well I guess it is ok for my first try”.  After some brief searches for a good recipe and an attempt to for once not use an Ina Garten recipe, all of the blogs I found were actually using hers and saying it was the best thing ever.  When even smittenkitchen used the recipe, I decided I would succumb to the societal norms and adapt my recipe based on Ina’s Chicken Pot Pie.  But in order to spice things up a bit, I did some crust research on smittenkitchen and found a “Pie Crust 101” which sparked my interest due to the fact that it had my all time favorite beverage (vodka…duh…) as one of the ingredients.  Since a previous post for boozy baking was incredibly successful, I decided it was bound to be a winner.  The crust recipe can be found here if you want a more full explanation from someone who did it correctly.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, my crust was not ideal.  Possible Mistake # 1: While I have always heard that bits of butter in it are good, I think my bits may have been a bit too big and the dough too loose.  Possible Mistake #2: I did not have individual bowls and I think the crust did not fit the large baking dish well.  The crust quickly collapsed to the top of the stew so it sunk down to sit on top of the stew instead of holding firm and tight across the top of the dish.  Possible Mistake #3: The dough may not have chilled enough before I rolled it out.  I conferred with CookingKozey about the crust and discussed possible issues and she was also at a loss and was under the impression I had taken the correct steps.  The game plan is to use the second half of the dough this weekend to make some Derby Pie so we will reevaluate the dough recipe post-pie.  Stay tuned…

Crust (makes 2 standard pie crusts)

  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • ½ cup cold vegetable shortening cut into small bits
  • ¼ cup cold vodka
  • ¼ cup cold water

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt and sugar) in a large bowl.  Dice your very cold butter and shortening into bits and toss into the dry ingredients.  Using your pastry blender, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture.  You will start with big chunks and gradually the dough will start to align itself with the blades as you cut into it (it will actually sort of stay in the blade shape as you cut through).  Once the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal (after maybe 5-7 minutes of mixing), you are done cutting.









Next comes the best part….wait for it…

VODKA!  Add the very cold vodka and water and fold the dough using a rubber spatula until everything comes together.  It happens relatively quickly.  The dough may be a bit tacky but that’s expected – the vodka will burn off.

Mound the dough and divide it into two balls.  Flatten each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (longer is better).  The recipe says to use within two days – I used mine in 4 days and it was just fine but much beyond that, you should probably just wrap it several times in plastic, put it in a zip lock and throw it in the freezer. Each disk is good for a 9-inch pie crust or so.

Once the dough is chilled, you can roll it out as needed either between two sheets of plastic wrap or on a floured surface.  I tried both and found the floured surface easier.  Don’t roll the dough until the bowls of chicken stew are ready to be covered though!

Chicken Stew (Serves 4 according to Ina, serves 17 give or take a few according to me)

  • 2-3 whole (4-6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched (aka cooked briefly in boiling water) for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 egg

Start by roasting the chicken a day ahead of time to make things easier on yourself.  Toss the breasts in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 35-40min in a 350 F oven.  Once they are cool enough to handle, take off the skin and pull the meat off the bone and dice in large chunks.  You should have 4 to 6 cups of chicken.  Another option is to purchase already roasted rotisserie chickens from the grocery store.

Care for some butter?

In a small sauce pan, put the stock and bouillon cubes on medium low heat so the bouillon will dissolve into the stock.  In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium low heat (yes all 12 tablespoons because there isn’t enough in the crust).  When you are planning on eating chicken pot pie, I’m pretty sure you aren’t saying “hmm…I want something healthy and low in calories”.  Just own it.  Saute the onions in the butter for about 10-15 minutes until translucent.  Add the flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes on low heat.    Add the hot chicken stock and simmer as it thickens.  Ina says for another minute but I did it longer.   I found this recipe to be a little thin so if you want a thicker sauce, let it reduce a little bit.  Add two teaspoons of kosher salt, 1/2 tsp of fresh pepper and the cream and stir to mix.  Next add the chicken, carrots, peas and parsley.  Optionally – add other veggies or pearl onions should you so desire.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

This is where small bowls is key.  Ina says divide the stew amongst four small bowls.  I say you have enough stew for about 12 bowls.  Take your bowls and fill them.  Any extra can be saved in the fridge or freezer to make another pot pie, chicken and biscuits or just eaten at your leisure.  Don’t feel obligated to use all of it at once.  It’s seriously a TON but I digress.  Take your dough and roll into appropriately sized circles to fit your bowls.  Hopefully dividing one section into 4 will be enough dough but don’t be afraid to use the second disk if needed.  I made one major pie (which proved difficult) so I only had one large circle.  Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water for an egg wash.  Brush it on the edge of each bowl.  Place the dough over each bowl, crimp the edges of the dough around the bowl and brush each crust with the egg wash as well.

Cut 3 small slits into the top so steam can escape and sprinkle the top of each crust with some kosher salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for an hour or until the crust is golden brown.

Hmmm…Something’s not quite right here…

Try not to burn the crap out of your mouth and enjoy!

Oye…that was exhausting!


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4 Responses to “chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie”

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Update – I used the second crust in a pie this weekend and it worked beautifully. I have no idea what happened with the pot pie but will continue to learn the art of crust making!

Mmmm looks tasty!

Vodka…hhmmm….looks delish… 🙂

[…] a good idea but certainly not a deal breaker.  The real issue was with the dough.  When I made chicken pot pie, it was the first time I made my own crust.  This recipe was slightly different and I used 2/3 […]

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