mini chicken pot pies

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I admit that, sometimes, I get ambitious. It's somewhat unfortunate that that ambition only ever occurs in the kitchen, but such is the life of a culinary nerd. Now, let's get to what's important here: these awesome, personal pies that'll warm you from the inside out this winter. It's perfect for a cozy little family dinner. This recipe is based on Ina Garten's lobster pot pie recipe.

Yields 4-5 pies

What you'll need:
Oven-safe baking bowls (I use french onion soup bowls)
Food processor (not necessary, but it'll make your life easier)

Pie filling:
1 1/2 cups chopped Spanish onion
3/4 cup chopped fennel
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp your favourite white wine, loving
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 boneless, skinless, cooked chicken breasts (*see below)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups whole pearl onions
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup minced dill

Pastry top:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp lard, diced -- The real stuff. Not that vegetable shortening shit, you hippie.
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp heavy cream)


1. Saute onions and fennel in butter in a large saute pan on medium heat until onions are translucent, which should take about 15 minutes.

2. Add flour and cook on low heat for 3 more minutes.

3. Slowly add stock, wine, salt, and pepper, and then simmer for about 5 more minutes.

4. Whisk in heavy cream.

5. Chop the chicken into bite size cubes. Place chicken, frozen peas, onions, and herbs in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the mixture and set aside.

6. For crust, mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the lard and butter, and let it run until small balls form. LOL.

7. Add ice water. Process just until the dough comes together. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead quickly. Wrap dough in plastic and allow to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

9. Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place one of your pot pie bowls upside down on dough, and cut a circle of dough about 1/2 inch from the edge of the bowl.

10. Fill dishes with pie filling. Cover each dish with pastry, and lightly fold down and press the edges against the bowl. Brush a generous amount of egg wash on each pastry bowl. Make 1 or 2 small slashes in the pastry.

11. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.


(*For the chicken, I wrap two breast in thick cut bacon, and bake them for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Simple and delicious.)

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