Cooking as a distraction is sort of how we ended up with this slab of chicken pot pie.
It worked out well. I chopped and stirred my worry away for a couple hours, a very practical way to address stress because when you’re done so is dinner.
And what’s better than the smell of something onion-y cooking? In this case it’s leeks, slumping into melted butter with shallots and perhaps my favorite herb, thyme. That aroma will soothe better than any candle I can buy.
Making this feels very much like making chicken soup until you thicken the leeks with flour before adding broth and wine. Danny walked by and said yeah, that looks like pot pie. Yes! This is the first pot pie I’ve ever made and the first one I’ve ever tried.
Cream is stirred in next, just half a cup, but it transforms the filling into a silky, rich mixture that bridges what looked like ordinary chicken soup a few moments ago with buttery pâte brisée.
What was I worried about? Oh, it hardly matters anymore. At least not while we have this chicken pot pie.
p.s. a little saffron turned two yesterday! happy birthday to my little blog! and I owe you a cake of some sort.
chicken pot pie
Danny grew up very familiar with chicken pot pie, but for me it is one of those classic American comfort foods I didn’t try until, well, this past weekend. But now that we’ve officially met, this recipe will join the Sunday dinner rotation. I hope it finds a spot in yours, too.
The filling for this pot pie is adapted from a recipe in Bon Appéit. For the crust, we’re going with a pâte brisée. This dough comes together so easily and bakes up incredibly flaky. Use it for sweet or savory pies, quiches, or galettes. Dough can also be frozen up to 3 months and thawed in the fridge before using. This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts.
for the pâte brisée:
2 1/2 cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a stand mixer or food processor. Add the butter and combine at slow speed or pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with different sized piece of butter, including some larger pieces. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice water over the mixture. Mix or pulse until the mixture just starts to hold together. Add up to another 1/4 cup ice water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is too dry.
Divide the dough in half and place each on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap loosely with the plastic and press into a disk using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, wrapped well, for at least 1 hour (and up to 1 day). Use 1 disk of dough for the pot pie and reserve second for another use.
Makes enough dough for one 9-inch double crust pie or two 9-inch single-crust pies.
for the filling:
6 cups chicken broth
2 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 large bunch lacinato kale (or another dark leafy green, i.e. collard greens), leaves cut into about 1-inch pieces and stems discarded
about 1 pound shredded and cooked chicken (from a roasted 3- to 4-pound chicken)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 large leeks (white and green pale parts only), sliced
2 large shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Pour 6 cups chicken broth into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and potatoes. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a buttered 13 x 9 baking dish. Add kale to the broth and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer greens with a slotted spoon to the dish with the vegetables. Add shredded chicken to dish with vegetables. Transfer the broth to a large bowl.
Melt butter in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in leeks, shallots, and thyme. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add flour and stir for about 2 minutes. Pour 4 cups of the reserved broth back into the pot and add the white wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir frequently until the mixture starts to thicken. Add cream and stir frequently, cooking until sauce thickens enough to a coat a spoon, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over mixture in prepared dish and carefully stir to combine the ingredients evenly. Let mixture cool for about 45 minutes. Filling can also be made 1 day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.
Heat oven to 400°F with a rack in the top third of the oven and a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch anything that may spill over as the filling cooks. Roll out the pâte brisée on parchment paper to a rectangle slightly larger than your baking dish. If you roll this out on parchment paper you can use this to help you turn the dough over onto the filling. Trim dough and tuck the edges inside the dish. Cut six or so slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
Place dish on top rack and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves about 6.