Last week Pat surprised me with 2 pumpkin pies and some beautiful flowers. So now it was my turn to surprise him! I figured I'd stay with the pie theme, which works out because chocolate cream pie is his favorite dessert, and he loves chicken pot pie. That being said, I certainly had my work cut out for me. In the end, it was all worth it!
Chicken Pot Pie
I'll start by saying that I have one memory of chicken pot pie as a child, and it was not a fond memory. I didn't like the consistency, the way it smelled, the oozy liquid inside. I figured that by making this I'd find out if I still don't like chicken pot pie, and even if I don't, at least Pat will get to have one of his favorite meals! Just a warning if you're going to make it...start to finish this ended up taking me about 3 hours (but maybe I'm slow? Don't answer that.).
First I needed to poach the chicken. I put the chicken (cut into 8 pieces), carrots, celery, onion, parsley, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper in a large pot.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam and discard.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken has just cooked through, about 25 minutes. While the chicken was cooking, I prepared all of the other ingredients for the pot pie.
Chopped Carrots and Celery:
Chopped Parsley and Tarragon:
Minced Garlic and Sliced Shallots:
Flour in a bowl:
When the chicken is done, transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups stock for pot pie, save the rest for another use. Remove skin from chicken and discard. Take meat off bones and tear into bite size pieces.
Now for the pot pie making...
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, until shallots are translucent.
Stir in 1 cup stock to the shallots and garlic. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup stock into the flour in a small bowl.
Whisk flour mixture into pot with stock, shallots and garlic. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Add chicken. Return to a boil.
Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley and tarragon.
Let cool (I just stuck in fridge for a few minutes) and stir in peas.
Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
Brush phyllo dough with melted butter and sprinkle with parsley leaves. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and parsley, but do not sprinkle parsley on the final layer.
Drape crust over cooled filling; tuck in edges. Cut 4 slits in the crust for vents. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Yum!! The phyllo dough was a nice change from typical crusts; it was very light and flaky. I decided that I do like chicken pot pie - all of the fresh vegetables are great with the chicken and flaky crust. Next time I think I'd double the amount of peas, cut the carrots into smaller pieces, and also use more flour/stock mixture (maybe double what the recipe calls for) so that there's more of a gravy consistency (that's what Pat loves).
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with my first chicken pot pie cooking experience! It is time consuming, but its a nice meal for cold fall nights, and would be fun to make with a friend while enjoying some wine!
Here's the recipe (I used Martha Stewart's Lighter Chicken Pot Pie recipe):
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 4-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 4-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (I used fresh ground pepper instead)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (I used sea salt)
- Place chicken in a large stockpot. Add remaining ingredients and enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam; discard. Reduce heat to low; simmer until chicken has just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a plate, and let cool slightly. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 1 1/2 cups stock for pot pie; reserve remaining stick for another use. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Remove meat from bones and tear into bite-size pieces. (You should have about 4 cups). If not using right away, this can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups reserved stock from the poached chicken
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3 medium celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices
- Poached Chicken
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus about 1/2 cup leaves for crust and sprigs for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 cup slightly thawed frozen peas (I used 1 full cup and would use even more in the future)
- 6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
- Add carrots and celery. Bring to a boil. Stir in chicken. Return to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley and tarragon. Let cool. Stir in peas. Transfer to a 2-quart (8 1/2-by-12-inch) baking dish.
- Brush 1 sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Sprinkle with parsley leaves. Repeat with remaining phyllo, parsley, and butter; do not sprinkle parsley on final layer. (Keep unbuttered phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel). Drape crust over cooled filling; tuck in edges. Cut four 4-inch slits in crust for vents. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
- Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and re-cut vents. Serve immediately in shallow bowls.
For the chocolate cream pie I totally cheated. I found an amazing recipe online for a very involved pie (total time looked like about 8 hours!!) but didn't have time to make that since the chicken pot pie also took a long time. So instead I used pudding and a pre-made cookie crust.
I made Chocolate JELL-O pudding, poured it into the crust and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours.
Then top with cool whip and enjoy!
Even though I cheated, this still tastes so good! The chocolate crust with chocolate pudding is great, and you can't go wrong with cool whip on top! I used skim milk in the pudding and light cool whip, so this ends up being much better for you than the homemade chocolate cream pie I was going to make (which called for NINE egg yolks, 16 tablespoons butter, 2 cups heavy cream, and 3 1/2 cups half and half...hello heart attack!).
Time to get PIE-EYED!