Yesterday was Dustin’s birthday…
…so I asked him what he would like me to make for his special dinner. He proceeded to peruse my recipe binder and think very hard about what he would like.
He came up with the following: Chicken Pot Pies, Italian Sausage Lasagna and Sweet Potato Casserole.
Wow. Who does he think I am? A food blogger or something? Heehee.
All this for his birthday? Well…kind of.
Turns out he was really requesting a birthday dinner weekend of sorts.
The Plan: Chicken Pot Pies on one day and Lasagna on another day. Oh yeah — and some tasty Sweet Potato Casserole for dessert. Sounded good to me. Yum.
I first made Chicken Pot Pies following a recipe by Ina Garten that was absolutely delicious and have since made several changes to make it my own. I hope you get a chance to make these little pot pies of goodness as they are quite worth the effort.
Yes, I did say the word “effort.” I apologize. But, sometimes, a little extra “effort” is necessary. Like when your loving husband requests Chicken Pot Pies for his birthday. It’s the rules.
If you’d like to speed up the process by not making your own dough, you can just purchase some puff pastry at the store. Don’t worry: I won’t tell anyone. If not, this is a recipe for some really delicious and flaky homemade pie dough.
Happy birthday, Dustin!!
Chicken Pot Pies
makes 4 individual pot pies (with some extra left over, depending on the size of your pot pie dishes)
For the pastry (click here for my favorite pie crust recipe)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
8-10 tbsp. ice water
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a freezer for at least 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
Combine flour, kosher salt and sugar in a food processor (or a large bowl if mixing by hand). Pulse food processor a few times to mix. Slowly add the chilled butter, pulsing just as much as necessary to break the butter pieces into pea-size lumps. Add 1 tbsp. water at a time, pulsing in between, until dough sticks to itself when pinched.
Remove flour mixture from the food processor and place onto a clean, dry, flat surface. Gently shape into 4 disks. If the dough is too crumbly and refuses to cooperate, add more water, tablespoon by tablespoon, as needed. The goal is to use as little water as possible to make it stay together. You will be able to see little specs of butter within the dough. These bits of butter, as they melt in the oven, will help make the crust flaky and delicious.
Sprinkle each disk lightly with flour and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
Follow the directions below for making the chicken pot pies.
For the chicken pot pies:
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 sticks plus 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups frozen peas
10 oz. frozen pearl onions
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Generously sprinkle chicken breasts with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place chicken breasts in skillet, cover and cook until golden brown on both sides. Once cooked through, allow to cool. Reserve drippings from pan as well. Once cooled, chop chicken into bite size 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, heat the chicken stock over medium-high heat. Once heated, add the bouillon cubes and dissolve completely. Set aside.
In a saute pan, heat 1/2 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add diced carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat unsalted butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add onions and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently. Be careful not to let the butter burn in the pot. Add the flour and mix to combine, stirring frequently for an additional minute. Add the chicken stock mixture to the onions. Continue to heat over medium heat until sauce is thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
Once thickened, add 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, heavy cream, cubed chicken, carrots, peas, pearl onions, parsley and the reserved chicken drippings. Mix well. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste, if applicable.
Remove dough disks from the refrigerator. Sprinkle some flour over a dry, clean surface and roll out dough to fit the size of your oven-proof baking dish. This will be the bottom of your pot pie. You will want to gently press the dough into the pot pie dish, allowing for the dough to reach the sides and bottom of the dish. Repeat this step for the remaining dishes.
Divide the filling equally between the 4 pot pie dishes. Divide the remaining dough to make circles large enough to cover each dish, with extra to overlap the sides of the dishes.
Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and 1 tbsp. milk in a small bowl. Brush the sides and edges of the dough on each dish with the egg wash. Gently place the dough tops on each of the dishes and trim off excess dough with a knife or fork. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers. Brush the tops of the pot pies with the egg wash. Make 2-3 slits on the top of the pot pies to allow for steam to escape during baking.
Place pot pies on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. If the tops start to become too golden brown during cooking, place aluminum foil over the pot pies to prevent burning.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven.