Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mini Chicken Pot Pies (with homemade flaky crust)


One thing I've had to work on in my new married life is actually taking the time to consider providing food for another human being. I've been cooking meals for myself since I was 13 so thinking about my own dinner is nothing new to me, however, when you have a non-pescatarian hungry man in the house, that's another story.

These chicken pot pies are not only small and cute, they're also delicious and the perfect size for 1-2 servings. When I think of the perfect pot pie, the utmost important factor is the crust. It must be light, flaky, with that melt in your mouth buttery flavor. The filling must be creamy and rich with the perfect balance of vegetables, meat, and herbs; and like any other unbelievably tasty entree, it should fill you with the desire to lick the bowl and pick off the remaining bits of crust on the leftovers (but do so sneakily to avoid suspicion).


Mini Chicken Pot Pies

serves two...or one, depending on how hungry you are

1 raw chicken breast
1 large carrot, cut into small cubes
1 large stalk of celery cut into small cubes
1/2 of a small onion, diced small
1-2 small (russet or red) potatoes, diced small
3 TBS butter (separated)
1 TBS flour
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk or cream
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

(you can add peas or corn as well if you would like, I didn't have any peas in the house at the time)

click here for my go-to Pie crust recipe

Prep:

3.Prepare pie crust (if using) and set aside in fridge.

2.Take chicken breast and put it in a sauce pan, cover with water. Turn on medium heat and boil for about 10-15 min. or until chicken is firm to the touch and has an internal temperature of 165 F. remove chicken breast and when cool, cut into cubes.

3.To cook the potatoes, cut them into bite sized cubes. Place in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil potatoes until tender (about 10 min). Drain and set aside.

Directions:

1.Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease two 10-ounce ramekins with butter or olive oil spray.

2.Roll the pie crust out and use a bowl (slightly larger than the ramekin), trace and cut out 2 circles, using the scraps to make more if needed. Keep the dough circles in the fridge so they stay cold.

3.Melt 1 TBS of butter in a large sauce pan. Add in the diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the diced onion and celery and season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent and the carrots are soft (but not too soft).

4.Now add in the remaining 2 TBS of butter and let that melt. Once melted add flour and stir often while it cooks for 2 minutes (or until you smell a nice nutty flavor). Pour in the chicken broth and the milk. Let that simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened 5-8 minutes. Add herbs and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Let cool slightly before topping with crust.

5.Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly divide the diced cooked potatoes into each prepared ramekin. Spoon the cooled pot pie filling evenly over the potatoes, filling the ramekins to the brim. Cover with dough circles and crimp the edges then, with a sharp knife make a couple of slits for ventilation.

6.Slide the tray of pot pies into a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*For a glossy top crust, try beating an egg with a tablespoon of water and brush over top before baking.

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