Classic Chicken Pot Pie Made At Home
Classic Chicken Pot Pie
Origin of Meat Pie
Meat pot pie has a long history dating back to the early 1600's and the Roman Empire. It is said that the pastries were sometimes served with live birds underneath. Personally I don't want to believe that.
The custom of meat pies was renewed in the 16th century by the English. It's popularity soon spread the country. During this era Britons ate meat all types of meat pies including lamb, pork and game. A British writer once pointed out how deer meat pies were consumed during those times and could rarely be found in other Kingdoms. Britons were especially fond of birds during the reign of Elizabeth I.
In the 1700's Europeans migrated and some settled in a town called Salem, located in North Carolina. It is also sometimes referred to as "Old Salem." With them, they brought a dish very similar to what is now known as "Pot Pie." It is called Moravian Chicken Pie. Moravian chicken pie s a savory meat pie that is double crusted made with flaky shortcrust pastry and filled with chunky poached chicken meat and a thick broth-based sauce. The difference between this and a "Pot Pie" is there are no vegetables mixed in this dish. This meat pie is traditionally served in slices, topped with hot chicken gravy and more gravy on the side with mashed potatoes as accompaniment.
Making Puff Pastry Dough
Do You Need To Make Puff Pastry Dough From Scratch?
The answer in my opinion is simple. If you have never made puff pastry dough before, and want the best pot pie you've ever eaten, then yes, make it from scratch. While it is time consuming and physically testing, it is absolutely worth it in the end. With that said, this is why machinery was invented and in this case, be very thankful for them. Pre-made puff pastry dough is still very good. While there is nothing equal to the human touch, buying them pre-made saves not only money, but time as well. For this recipe don't worry; we will use the store bought pastry.
You can find frozen puff pastry in most grocery stores and they are fine and get the job done. Frozen puff pastry comes in sheets, which need to defrost before using. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw them at room temperature or rush them. We need to do this right.Frozen puff pastry sheets come folded so if you try to thaw it at room temperature, they may break while unfolding; or you may forget about them and the sheets will be too sticky to work with if thawed too long. Just thaw it in the fridge the night before.
There are two very important tips for puff pastry.
1. Keep the dough cool
2. Dust your work surface with flour before starting.
Keeping the dough cool keeps it from sticking together, and also making it easy to cut. When you are ready to start, take out only what you're planning to use use at that moment and place the remainder of dough in the refrigerator.
Dusting your work surface with flour is to prevent the dough from sticking. Dust your rolling pin also.
If the puff pastry dough sheets you purchased are thicker than you desire, it is fine to roll them a little thinner. Be careful not to make the dough thinner than 1/8 an inch.
Mirepoix: Carrots, Yellow Onion, Celery
- 1 1/2-3 lb. Whole Chicken, Roasted & Meat Pulled
- 1 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, Small Diced
- 3/4 cup Carrots, Small To Medium Dice
- 3/4 cup Celery, Small Diced
- 1 cup Green Peas
- 1 1/2 cups Potatoes, Diced & Blanched
- 1/3 cups each Unsalted Butter & Flour
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 cups Water or Chicken Broth
- 2/3 cup Heavy Cream
- 2-3 Sheets Puff Pastry Dough, Thawed & Chilled
- 1/4 Bunch Fresh Thyme & Parsley
- 1/4 cup Fresh Asparagus Tips, Blanched
- With the bones from your roasted chicken, add to pot with 1/4 cup each, onions, carrots, & celery. Add water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer. Additional flavoring can be added to this such as bay leaves or celery seed. Simmer for at least 1 hour. Remove from heat, strain broth and reserve for later use.(This step can be skipped if using pre-made broth) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Shape the pastry to fit into individual or whole casserole dishes.Trim the excess pastry. Stick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. Place aluminum foil onto the surface of the pastry. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil.
- While dough is baking, in a saucepan, with butter, add carrots, onions, and celery. Saute until translucent or soft. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add potatoes, pulled chicken meat, salt & pepper and mix lightly. Slowly stir in enough broth to cover and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Once it reaches a thicken consistency, add heavy cream and simmer another 5 minutes. Add green peas, remove from heat and set aside. Place the thickened filling in your pre-baked casserole dishes. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
- Place it onto a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is hot and bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.