Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

With spring just around the corner and winter still clinging on, I figured I’d better tick chicken pot pie off my to-do list before warm weather is here to stay. As I said in my last post, I’m hanging on to comfort food until spring is officially here. Chicken pot pie has been been rolling around in the back of my mind for months as I thought about what kind of spin I could put on this classic dish.

The typical pie contains chicken, onions, celery, mushrooms, and peas with a cream sauce and pie crust. In pondering the variation I wanted to create on this quintessential comfort dish, I started thinking of all the ingredients that I love that would work together. I’ve been experimenting lately with celery root or celeriac and I had some in the fridge, so that was a obvious choice. Leeks, fennel, and sun-dried tomatoes all play well together, so they were in. Some Yukon gold potatoes sat in my veggie bowl waiting to be used and I thought they’d be a good addition. A rotisserie chicken, carrots, peas, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms rounded out the ingredients for this recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie

Last week as I walked past the cheese department at my farmers market, I picked up some Asiago cheese on a whim. I almost always opt for Parmigiano Reggiano when it comes to hard cheese, but I’m so glad I made that decision. Also a hard cheese, Asiago has a slightly creamier texture than Parmesan and in rediscovering this cheese, I realized how delicious it is.

The sauce for this recipe is a basic Bechamel with the addition of chicken stock, so adding some grated Asiago seemed like a good decision. Since I’d bought a big block, and since I’d had good luck with cheese in pie crust with my Apple Cheddar Turnovers,  I thought a little Asiago wouldn’t hurt in the crust for this pie as well. As it turns out, it was a stroke of genius. Delicious is an understatement.

The ingredients really work well together and compliment each other. This version of chicken pot pie got rave reviews from our best friends, Bruce and Felix, and I really think you’ll enjoy it too.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients

For the filling:

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fennel bulb

1 cup chopped celeriac (celery can be substituted)

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

1 cup diced Yukon gold potatoes

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks, green and white parts

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup roughly chopped roasted red pepper

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas

1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, deboned, and cut into bite-sized pieces

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 3/4 cups whole milk

1 cup grated Asiago cheese

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the crust:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 to 6 tablespoons iced water

1 egg, beaten

Instructions

For the filling:

1. Heat olive oil in a 12 inch iron skillet over medium high heat. Add fennel, celeriac, carrots, and potatoes and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms, leeks, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue sauteing for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, peas, and chicken. Mix well and cool completely.

For the sauce:

1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until well combined. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add chicken stock and milk slowly, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Pour sauce over chicken mixture and mix well. Cool mixture completely.

For the crust:

1. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and place in freezer for 15 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cheese, and salt. Pulse to mix. Add cold butter to flour mixture and pulse several times until mixture resembles course meal. Some larger pieces of butter are okay.

3. Add 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse. If the dough has not come together, add one additional tablespoon at a time until it clumps. You'll know the dough is ready when a small amount holds together in your hand.

4. Transfer dough to a floured surface and form into a 8 inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To assemble:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Roll dough out to a 14 inch circle on a floured surface. Roll dough over rolling pin and transfer to top of chicken mixture. Roll excess dough inside the rim of the skillet and crimp. Cut two slits in the top of the dough and brush with egg wash.

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