Chicken pot pie, or any of those store bought, frozen forever in the little aluminum tins pot pies were something I had a love/hate relationship with as a child. I loved, loved, loved the flaky pastry and would go to great lengths to extricate the bottom pastry out of the tin, while avoiding getting any of the meat bits in the process. The gravy was always good for dipping your french fries in, but while you were happily scarfing down the filling of your pot pie you would inevitably hit that mysterious gristly piece of God knows what and then try desperately to swallow it without any part of your mouth touching it again or before the whole works came back out from where it went in. Let’s face it, you really couldn’t get a cheaper meal than these babies, at least when I was a kid, you could pick these up for 25 cents, sometimes even cheaper! That and few fries was a real value meal. Upon reflection I really should have seen the gristly piece coming considering the cost, but you’re a kid who thinks about those things? Anyway, I have started making my own and know exactly what’s inside that lovely pastry and can gobble every bite down now with confidence, no mystery bits here! I don’t think I’ve ever made these the same way twice but here is how I did it today.
For two 6″ round ramekins
2 tbsp of butter
1tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion diced
1/2 stalk of celery diced
1 small carrot diced
4-5 button mushrooms sliced
1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. vermouth or white wine
2 or 2 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock (add more if your mixture gets too thick)
1 cup of chunked cooked chicken meat ( I had a store bought bbq chicken I had to use up, but you could roast a couple of pieces in the oven with salt and pepper and olive oil and then pick the meat off the bone.)
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 handful of frozen baby peas
3-4 tbps. of heavy or light cream
1 sheet of store bought puff pastry (I sometimes make it with my pie pastry, but this is how I did it today)
1 egg beaten with 1tbsp. water.
over med. heat melt butter with olive oil in a saucepan , add in chopped veggies and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes until tender, add salt and pepper. Sprinkle in flour and keep stirring, cook for a minute or two, add vermouth, keep stirring, add chicken stock a little at a time and keep stirring, until smooth and starting to boil and thicken. Add in sage, thyme peas and chicken meat, reduce heat to a simmer. Mixture should be quite thick like a custard. Turn off heat and stir in cream.
Heat oven to 400 F
roll out puff pastry so you will get a large enough piece to cover the bottom and sides of your ramekins and then to cover the top. Place pastry in the bottom of the ramekin bringing it up the sides and over the lip of the dish. Dock (poke holes with a fork) in the bottom of your pastry to prevent bubbles. Blind bake (bake empty shell) for about 10 minutes, remove from oven, fill with your chicken and veggie mixture, cover with remaining pastry, brush with egg mixture, cut a couple of slits in the top to allow the steam to escape and return to oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.