When I was a kid, pot pies were a treat. No, not the homemade pot pie like I make, but those small frozen pot pies, the ones that were on sale. They could have been Swanson, Banquet or the generic Kroger brand. Kroger is where my mom shopped all the time, and I NEVER got to go with her, although I always wanted to. It didn't matter to me the brand of pot pie, a pot pie was a pot pie, I love them all equally, well except for the beef. I have one memory that included a pot pie...I had been playing out side with my sister, l am pretty sure she had just made me eat a mud pieJ. Mom had just come home from Kroger, my sister and I rushed into the house to help her unload (I loved to help unload the groceries so I could see what she bought), I found the bag of pot pies. My memory tells me that I ask my mom very politely if I could have one (I must have been 8 or 9), but I am pretty sure it was not that easy, now that I have kids and I understand a bit more how they work. It probably went something like this:
Me: "can I have a chicken pot pie"
Mom: "No, it's almost time for dinner”
Me: “but please, I’m starving”
Mom: “no, we will be having dinner soon”
Me: “please, please, please, I’m so hungry I didn’t have anything for lunch and I am starving!”….more begging and pleading, until mom gave in and let me have that pot pie. (I was the 10th of 10 children and she didn’t have much fight left in her)
You all know the pot pie I am talking about right? You are supposed to let it sit out at room temperature for some ridiculous amount of time, like and hour, then you cut slits in the top, then cook it for an hour? Remember I told you in an earlier post how I don't really like to wait? It was worse then. I popped that pot pie in the oven, cooked it at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. When it was "ready" I took it out of the oven, it was boiling around the edges, and still frozen in the middle. I didn't care. I mixed it all up and it was the right temperature. Boy that was a good pot pie. But it pales in comparison to the pot pies I make today. I don't think my kids have ever seen a frozen pot pie.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law who has been making it for years. She got the recipe from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I adapted it from her original recipe.
6 split chicken breast (or one whole chicken - whichever you prefer)
5 cups chicken stock
2 tsp chicken base (you can use bouillon cubes if you don’t have base)
12 TBL butter
1 ½ cup onion
¾ cup flour
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pastry:
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup shortening
¼ cup cold butter, diced
½ to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tbl water - for egg wash
In a large pot bring 6 cups water with 2 tbl chicken stock to a boil, add chicken, boil for about 35 minutes, throw in carrots, celery and onion. boil another 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pot, let cool. When chicken is cool enough to handle remove all meat from the bones and dice into bite size pieces. In another large pot, or Dutch melt the butter over medium low heat, add the flour cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes, add 5 cups of the hot chicken stock (avoiding adding the veggies at this time). Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute stirring until thick. Add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and the heavy cream. Add the chicken, and veggies an mix well.
For the pastry, mix flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Add the shortening and butter. Pulse 15 times or till the shortening & butter are pea sized. With the motor running add the ice water, process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For the potpies…I used 4, 5 ½ inch bowls and 4, 4 inch bowls. If you want you can make a deep dish pot pie with this as well. Fill your bowls, whichever you decide to use. Separate the dough accordingly and roll out. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with egg wash, Trim your dough to fit just over your bowls….decorating as beautifully as you would like, or not. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
***be creative, use whatever veggies you your family like, or make it beef if you prefer....gag!