Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I've never made chicken pot pie before, but with the temperatures dropping below freezing for the past few of nights, I decided it would be nice to turn on the oven and have a hearty, hot meal for dinner. I never really realized how simple to is to make. There are many variations, from complicated to super easy. I chose a recipe in between, and Cubanized it of course by adding garlic and bell peppers!

For the crust (you can subtitute with store-bougth pie crust)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp sugar
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 cup water
1 egg yolk

1 egg for wash  (optional)

Mix your dry ingredients with the butter and shortening using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, until fairly well blended. Form a well. Whisk the egg yolk with the water, and drop into the center of your flour mixture. Use a fork to first blend it together and then your hands to knead it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the filling:

2 chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cups peas
1 large carrot sliced
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken stock (you can use bouillon)
2 cloves garlice
1/2 green bell pepper diced
olive oil or butter to saute onions

I boiled my chicken breasts in water with 1 large cube of chicken bouillon for about 15 minutes. (You can use roasted chicken or leftover chicken as well.) Remove the breasts of the water and cut into chunks, set aside. Reserve the broth.
In a skillet warm olive oil or butter to saute your onions, peppers and garlic. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of the broth to the onions, add your fresh carrots, and frozen peas cover and let your carrots simmer for about 5 minutes, add the cream of chicken soup. (I added the peas with the carrots since they were frozen. If you are using canned peas, rinse them out of the can and add with canned soup). Mix in the chicken and set aside to cool.

Lightly flour a clean working surface. Separate your dough in two parts (I made 4  mini pot pies, so I separated my dough into 8 parts).  Roll out one part for the bottom crust and place into your pie pan.  Add the filling, place the second rolled crust on top. Use a fork to seal the edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. You can brush the top with an egg wash (optional). Place your pie pan atop a larger baking pan in case of spillage. Bake in a pre-heated 375F oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Please note, you can basically use any vegetables you prefer. This is also a great idea for leftover turkey.

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