• Posted by Califia Suntree on November 4th, 2010, 7:28 AM

    We had about half a roast chicken left and it was a cool, autumnal evening. So, obviously, my mind turned to chicken pot pie. It is one of my favorite comfort foods, but store-bought ones are overly gooey and starchy and have more gravy than goodies beneath the crust. I’ve made them before, but it was such an undertaking: making the crust, gravy and vegetables all separately, then assembling into a pie made for a mountain of dishes and a long wait to dinnertime. Thanks to our trusty cast iron skillet, though, I was able to put together a pot pie in no time, using only two pans! We enjoyed the pie with a simple fall salad of lettuce, green apple, radishes and feta cheese.

    This recipe is for a 10″ skillet, to serve 4-5 people.

    1 sheet frozen puff pastry

    2 cups cubed potatoes (redskins work well)

    1 cup chopped carrot

    1 cup chopped green beans or frozen peas

    1 tablespoon butter

    2 tablespoons chicken fat (from your chicken roasting pan. Use butter if you don’t have chicken fat.)

    2 sprigs rosemary

    2 springs thyme

    1 shallot, minced

    3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    2 cups chicken broth

    1 cup milk

    1 cup frozen corn kernels

    1/2 a roast chicken, meat removed from bones and roughly shredded

    Salt & pepper

    1. Heat oven to 375F and set the pastry out to defrost.

    2. Prepare a pot for steaming. When the water is boiling, put the potatoes in the steamer basket. When they have softened slightly (about 5 minutes) add the carrots. When the carrots are tender (about another 5 minutes), add the green beans, if using. Steam another 3 minutes until the beans turn bright green. Remove veggies from heat and set aside.

    3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and/or chicken fat in your skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and herb sprigs and stir until shallots have softened. Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth and milk.

    4. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour over the hot fat and whisk into a smooth paste. Slowly add the broth/milk mixture and whisk until it comes to a low boil. Turn down the heat and sprinkle in the remaining flour if the gravy isn’t thickening. It should coat the whisk wires evenly.

    5. While the gravy simmers, remove the herb sprigs and stir in the chicken, frozen corn and peas, if using. Stir to combine and cook until the peas and corn are heated through. Stir in the cooked vegetables and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

    6. Roll the pastry out and cut into an 11″ round. Drape it over the skillet, pinching the sides tightly to the edge of the pan. Cut small steam vents in the top. (If you like, you can brush milk over the top for a nice glaze.)

    7. Bake the pie for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

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