9.11.2007

Real, Home-Cooked, Minnesota Chicken Pot Pies. Made Easy

The real thing. Yes. It really is. And man is it good! It's even better than Marie Calendar's! I miss chicken pot pie and I miss Fall. I love wearing my sweaters (but there's no room in the closets for them), I love soup and stew. I love cornbread and muffins and eggs and bacon. I just love the coming of Fall. Today it is 75 degrees outside and I already feel as if I need a jacket. Now that there's a lot of Fall recipes out there, I can't help but start to make them!!!! Oh, and start to put away my summer stuff. Ick. More posts about Fall cleaning coming up later.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
12 small mushrooms, finely chopped (just buy the fresh, chopped ones, it's easier)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 tablespoons plus 2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (get the stuff that's already chopped)
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas (or more!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. well-shaken buttermilk
Egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tbsp. milk)
Preparation
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery. Lower heat to medium and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving stock; set both aside separately.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt salted butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add fresh thyme and 5 tbsp. flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until combined, then add stock and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Add parsley, chicken, cooked vegetables, and peas and divide filling evenly among 6 or 7 ovenproof containers (8 to 10 oz. each), leaving the top 1/4 in. unfilled.
3. Preheat oven to 425°. Unless you actually want to make biscuits, just buy Pillsbury's Brand biscuits and stick one on top of each of your ramekins. That works the best. The rest of the recipe is mostly for over achievers who want to make homemade biscuits. That's totally not me.

To make biscuit topping, sift remaining 2 cups flour with baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in unsalted butter to form a coarse meal, working quickly to keep the butter from warming up and melting into the dough. Stir in cheese and sage. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk and add to the flour mixture, stirring gently until a shaggy dough forms.

4. Lightly flour a counter, a rolling pin, and your hands. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll out first ball to a 1/4-in. thickness, then use a 2 1/2-in. biscuit cutter to cut into rounds, scraping and rerolling dough as needed. Repeat with second ball.

5. Place 3 rounds of dough on each potpie, overlapping as necessary (any unused rounds can be baked on their own as biscuits). Brush dough with egg wash, put potpies on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 17 to 22 minutes.

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