Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie!

On day, sometime this spring, I had a dream about making Chicken Pot Pie. I had never made one before but was possessed by a strong desire to make it. The very next day I tried my hand at it, with good results. My boyfriend Joe became very fond of it, and since then, I have made more than a few.

Since the summer began, I have not seem Joe in a while. Missing him, I decided to make the Pot Pie, if only to taunt him with it from afar.

 I cook because I caaaaaaare :D

Chicken Pot Pie

Well, let me first say that pretty much anything goes here... Today I had these veggie available:

1/4 of a head of cabbage. I used 1/2 a cabbage that we had in the fridge, but it proved too much.
1/2 a large eggplant
1/2 a zucchini (from our garden :D )
1 large onion
3 carrots (great for a splash of color and sweetness)
1 bag of mixed frozen veggies I found in the freezer (contains corn, green beans and peas)
4-6 cloves garlic
1/2 spoon red pepper flakes (if you like spiciness)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast, but personally, I prefer dark meat)
3/4 cup mushroom soup (or add 1/2 cup of milk, but add an extra tablespoon of flour later)
a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce or few slices extra sharp cheddar (for a bit of tangy-ness)
2-3 tablespoons flour (depending on how much moisture is given off after cooking the veggies, and and extra spoonful is using milk and not mushroom soup)
Salt and black pepper to taste

1 box prepared of 2 pie crusts, 9 inches wide
bowl of water, set to the side
1 egg, whipped

1. Dice up all the veggies into bite sized pieces and set aside. Cut the chicken into bite sized-pieces as well and set these aside too. Mince the garlic.

I didn't buy boneless-skinless chicken. 
If you didn't either, no biggie.
Just remove the skin, trim off the fat and cut as close to the bone as possible. 
You can save the bones and boil them to make a tasty chicken stock later.

2. In a large pot, put in a bit of oil and put in the garlic and red pepper flakes. This will infuse the oil with the flavors. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in the veggies and cover the pot, letting it cook on medium for about 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.
4. Toss the chicken into the mix and put the lid back on for about 7 mins, or until just cooked.

5. Add in the mushroom soup and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it well and remove from heat.
6. Once it's removed from the range, slowly add in the flour, salt and pepper.
7. Let this mixture cool for a while, until luke warm. I let mine sit out for about 10 mins, then placed it in the fridge to chill a bit more, stirring ocassionally. If this is too warm when you put it in the crusts, then the crusts will become really floppy and melty. No good.
8. Prepare the pie tin by sprinkling the bottom with a bit of flour. Gently unroll one crust and place it on the bottom, making sure it's even on all sides. Also, at this point, you can pre-heat the oven to 350F.
9. Cafefully pour in the filling, you may even need someone to help you. There will be a lot, so be careful not to have it spill over the edges. It should create a nice peak, which you need to smooth out a bit. 

10. Alse carefully, unroll the second crust and place it on top of the filing, making sure each of the sides are equally over the edge.
11. Lift up the edge of the top crust and dip a finger into the water, wetting the bottom crust. Do this al around the pie, then dry your hands. If your fingers are still a littl moist, dip them in a bit of flour to prevent sticking, and crimp the edges together.
12. Cut a few slits at the top of the pie to let steam out. Cover the edges with foil and place in the oven. I like to keep mine on a baking sheet, so it's easier to take in and out, and can also catch any drippings, if there are any.

13. Bake for 40 mins. After that, remove the foil.
14. Bush the top with a couple coats of egg to give it that shiny, golden color. Bake for 15 more minutes.
15. Remove the pie from the oven and let sit for about 40 mins to let it cool.

16. Cut and serve!