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Kay's House of Treats: Chicken Pot Pie

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I love one dish meals; everything cooked together and bought to the table with no need for sides. Chicken Pot Pie is one such dish which I love the idea of, but have always found to be just a bit bland, so this time when I was making it, I combined a lot of recipes along with my own techniques for spicing chicken up to appeal to my family's personal tastes; also decided to try using store-bought puff pastry because I wanted to have an alternative to when I didn't have time or wasn't in the mood to make pastry from scratch; turned out delicious, but the only issue I had was that the pastry didn't brown properly even though it was cooked when I checked.

Chicken & Mushroom Pot Pie
(Serves 6)
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
250 ml hot chicken stock (Recipe given below - use chicken to make stock)
4 tbsp cream
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, sliced (I didn't use them, but can be added)
1 capsicum - sliced
1 can mushrooms - sliced
400 gm chicken, cubed (Recipe given below)
1/2 cup peas (I didn't use this, but can be used)
salt & black pepper & white pepper - to taste
red chilli flakes - to taste (optional)
beaten egg - to glaze
Puff Pastry - 1/2 kg

For the Chicken & Stock
Marinate chicken with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic paste or garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger paste & 1/2 tsp vinegar. Let it marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Then heat 2-3 tbsp oil, add 1 garlic cloves, minced, saute for 1 minute then add the chicken, add 1 tsp red chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp of italian seasoning and saute for a few minutes till chicken changes color and some of the water starts evaporating; then add about 2 cups of water and close the lid and cook the chicken till it becomes tender; the stock will be used to make the white sauce and the leftover stock can be drunk as yakhni. The red chilli flakes & Italian herbs are more of a personal flavoring choice, because while I love Chicken Pot Pie, I find it slightly bland so I always add chili flakes.

For Filling:
Preheat oven to 190 C.
Melt half of the butter in a heavy pan. Whisk in the flour and cook until bubbling, whisking constantly. Add the hot stock and whisk over a medium heat until mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 minutes then whisk in the cream. Season to taste (1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of black pepper and 1 tsp of red chilli flakes), and set aside.If white sauce gets very thick, then add a bit of milk and whisk to make it liquid again.

Heat the remaining butter in a large, non-stick frying pan and cook the onion and carrots over low heat for 5 minutes. Add capsicum & mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add cooked chicken & peas and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken & vegetable mixture to the hot cream mixture and stir to mix. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and stir well.
The pie can either be made in a oval baking dish (2.5 litre/4 pint/2 1/2 quart) or a square baking dish (8 inch or 9 inch) which is what I used. Spoon the filling mixture into the baking dish that you have. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 3 mm. Make sure that the pastry will cover the dish properly. Lay the pastry over the filling and gently press around the edge of the dish to seal, and trim off any excess pastry. Press a fork on the edges of the pastry to create a design. If there's any leftover pastry, then you can cut shapes and stick them onto the pastry lid for decorative purposes. Otherwise, just glaze the pastry lid with beaten egg and cut several slits into the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Bake the pie for about 30 minutes or till the pastry has browned. Serve the pie hot.

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