Well…I was really hoping I would be barbecuing on Sunday, April 10, 2016, but instead, we spent the day curled up in front of the fireplace, reading, finishing computer work, and craving winter comfort food. I typically love a Sunday where we get the opportunity to do this, because this type of Sunday is rare….but listening to the snow plow buzz by our house repeatedly all day long and watching our yard get another dusting of snow…I just can’t.
Tony was craving chicken pot pie and it seemed like a good fit for a snowy April Sunday. Full disclosure, I rarely make recipes like this. I am usually trying to switch up ingredients to create a healthy version of a classic comfort food but today, we just let this comfort food be what it was meant to be, comforting. So here it is;
Pie Crust Topping
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1 egg ( this is for the egg wash that you brush onto the crust before baking)
Pot Pie Filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
4 medium carrots, diced small ( I used an heirloom carrot mix)
2-3 stalks of celery diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cooked and chopped medium white potatoes ( one sweet potato could be substituted)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup of frozen corn
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken ( I shredded a 3 lb roaster)
2 tablespoons of chopped dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons of grainy mustard
1-2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup of grated real parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup half & half
Make the pie crust. Pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse until the dough starts to look crumbly. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is still crumbly but holds together when squeezed (you may need to add up to 2 more tablespoons of ice water); do not overmix. I don’t have a food processor so I did this dough in my vitamix, I’m sure that is not recommended but it worked perfectly. I only had to pulse the dough for about a minute. I removed it, formed it into a ball, wrapped it tightly in plastic and let it sit in the fridge while I cooked my roaster ( one hour). If you are a more prepared person than I am you can also let the dough sit overnight. I’m not a great pre-meal planner, especially on a Sunday, so my dough will never be sitting over night. Another idea….buy your dough! Nobody is judging, it will also be delicious and I bet nobody will care ; )
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. My oven was already on because my roaster was seasoned and cooking for 50 minutes. You can use a roaster like I did, or shred any chicken you have. This meal is great with left over chicken as well.
3. Make the filling: In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion,carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook a couple minutes longer, Add flour and stir to coat vegetables.I skipped a pot, and cooked my potatoes in my measuring cup, I put them in the microwave for 10 minutes. I don’t love doing dishes. My sous-chef also surprised me with this delicious Ceasar. It’s optional, but recommended, especially on snowy Sundays! ; )
4. Slowly add broth, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Add, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire & hot sauce. Season with salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in peas & corn, continue simmering. Add cooked & chopped potatoes, 1/2 cup of half & half and 1/2 cup of parmesan grated. I had a slab of the good Italian parmesan in the fridge that was left over from Tony’s bday dinner last week. I don’t usually have the real Italian parm in my fridge, but I love it, so I added it and it was great. If you don’t have this in your fridge it will still be great. Totally optional. Stir in shredded chicken and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Pour filling into a 2-quart baking dish.
5. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Place dough over dish and fold overhang inward while pinching the edge of the baking dish. Crack your egg in a small bowl, whisk, and brush onto your pie crust before you pop it in the oven. I am way too rammy to make this look pretty which you will see in the picture. I like to call my pot pie rustic! Don’t feel bad if your crust looks like mine, I promise it will taste amazing! Cut vents in dough. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling around edge, 30-40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
As depressing as it is to post a very traditional winter recipe in mid-April, it’s comfort food at it’s finest! It hit the spot on our kidless Sunday, and we had fun in the kitchen together. I hope the weather improves and we don’t crave this meal until November…..but it can’t hurt to save it in our recipe folder just in case, right??
I warned you it was rustic looking!! I’m sure many of you can make this look a lot prettier than me, but at the end of the day, I was super hungry and couldn’t wait to mow this down. Feel free to get your fancy pants, inner chef on and show me up though! Sometimes real comfort food is where it’s at. Happy Sunday!