Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of my wife's favorites and was cooked on request after we visited HUB last week for lunch. Food was pricey but delish and the beer selection was good and cheaper. Definitely worth a return trip.

The crust I use is from the invaluable book Ratio by @ruhlman. He calls it the 3:2:1 pie crust as it is 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part liquid. I used 12 ounces unbleached white flour, 2 sticks cold butter cut into small cubes and 1/2 cup ice cold water.

I worked the butter into the flour quickly with a fork then gently mixed in the water just enough for the dough to not quite hold together. I am always in such fear of overworking the dough that my crusts never actually hold together and must be slid off of my work surface onto their resting places.

Then I shaped the dough into two disks, wrapped in plastic wrap and into the fridge to rest until ready to use.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 batch 3:2:1: pie dough rolled into a bottom and top crust
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped finely
2 carrots, sliced width-wise about 1/4 inch thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked chicken meat, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.

Note the vegetarian version on the right
Add flour and whisk contents for about a minute. Whisk in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to come to a simmer and thickens. Add chicken and peas. Check for consistency. I like somewhere between gravy and bechamel consistency. If it's too thick, thin with milk or water. If it's too thin, continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until it is the consistency you like. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place bottom crust in pie pan. Add the filling mixture. Cover with top, crimp edges and poke a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Note fractured crust from fear of overworking/too much water
Bake for 45 minutes or so until the crust is done. Let rest until not molten and serve.


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