Saturday, February 28, 2015

Individual Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust


What to do with leftover rotisserie chicken, or the rest of that roasted turkey? What about the stray crust languishing in the freezer? Chicken pot pie springs to mind. With all that hearty, creamy filling, tender, flavorful veggies bubbling underneath a buttery, golden crust, it is impossible to resist cozying up under a hand-sewn quilt on a chilly winter day and chow down on this ultimate comfort food.

And the good news? When you have leftover roasted chicken or turkey on hand, half the work is already done for you. Using frozen puff pastry gets you another step closer and faster to the end product. And if you are really, really lazy, go for frozen mixed vegetables and throw in a can of creamy chicken soup. But that would just take all the fun out of cooking a chicken pot pie "from scratch", wouldn't it? Go get some fresh produce and give them a rough chop (precision is so unimportant here), and you will be astonished just how easy it is to have this steaming pot pie ready in no time. Chicken pot pie doesn't have to be a big ordeal, as I testified.

Dig in for heaps of chicken, veggies, and crust in every mouthful!

To prepare...
Puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 cup cooked chicken (a chicken quarter), roughly cubed or pulled
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
6 cremini mushrooms, stems intact, cubed
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chicken broth, or water plus a bouillon (I used vegan bouillon)
1/2 cup milk
Garlic salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, reserving some for garnish


1. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring until flour becomes golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth and heat to a boil.


2. On low heat, slowly stir in milk, chicken, thyme and parsley. Season with garlic salt and black pepper to taste. Stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.


 



3. Heat oven to 200C/400F. Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut six strips (about 1 inch thick, depending on shape and size of your casserole).

4. Spoon chicken mixture into casserole. Weave a lattice pattern over the filling with the pastry strips. I clearly am not an expert in weaving. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Place casserole on a baking sheet and bake for 35 mins or until filling is bubbling hot and pastry is golden brown.

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