Chicken or Beef Pot Pie

By Cat, Feb 11, 2019 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Chickens

I used to buy frozen chicken or beef pot pies for a quick dinner, but when I started looking into all the non-essential ingredients in processed foods, I decided to make my own from scratch. They really are easy.

You can use leftover chicken or beef, leftover or freshly steamed potatoes, frozen or fresh peas and carrots, and homemade chicken or beef stock for the filling. Add some ale for an interesting flavor boost. You can even use a refrigerated pie crust or puff-pastry crust, but they likely contain non-essential ingredients, so read the label. If you really want to do it right, make a pre-soak pie crust using mostly whole grain flour or your own puff pastry.

See also: 1. Chicken & Poultry Menu; 2. Pie & Tart Crusts & Pastry Menu; 3 Soups and Stocks Menu

Chicken Pot Pie, with Locally-Brewed Ale

I’ve adapted this recipe from a Beef Pot Pie recipe by Debbie Macomber (in Dec 2018 AARP magazine)(1), with tips from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken (2), for using leftover chicken instead of pot-roasting the meat before cutting it into cubes to use in the pot pie, as in Ms. Macomber’s original recipe.

And for the crust, I prefer to use my yogurt pre-soak pie crust instead of puff pastry. My yogurt pie crust recipe makes enough for two 10″ pies with crust only on the top, or one 10″ pie with crust on bottom and top.

NOTE: If you opt to use puff pastry, follow instructions on the package (or in my Puff Pastry instructions); after arranging pastry on top of the pot pie, brush it with a mix of egg white and 1 Tbsp water, for a glaze.

NOTE: if using crust on top only, you use your skillet both for making the filling, and baking it with the crust. If using crust on bottom and top, you need a saucepan for cooking the filling, and a skillet for baking the pie.

I bake the pot pie in my 10″ cast iron skillet. You could, however, bake several smaller pies using smaller, deep pie pans or other small baking dishes; in this case, cook the filling in a saucepan.

Serves 4 – 6. I have not yet tested this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 1 recipe yogurt pre-soak pie crust #1 or puff pastry
  • 2 cups, ½″ cubed leftover chicken (I prefer a mix of white and dark meat)
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • ½ cup diced celery (1-2 stalks)
  • 2 oz cremini or white mushrooms, stems trimmed and tops quartered
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp butter, or good quality olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt, or more, to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, or more, to taste
  • 2 or more Tbsp unbleached white flour or tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp crumbled dried sage leaves or dried rosemary
  • 1 cup locally-brewed ale
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or more, as needed)
  • 1½ cups diced, leftover or lightly-cooked Yukon gold or russet potatoes
  • 10 – 12 ounces frozen peas and carrots, or combination of fresh peas and fresh diced carrots
  • Optional glaze for top of crust, if using puff pastry:
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Equipment:
  • 10″ cast iron skillet and/or 10″ deep-dish pie pan
  • 3 quart saucepan or saucier (if doing 2-crust pie)

Method:

  • Prep pastry:
    • Yogurt crust: (See recipe for details.) On the day before making the pot pie, prepare yogurt pre-soak crust, cover and let rest on counter overnight. Next day, when ready to use crust, add remaining ingredients.
    • Divide crust/pastry roughly into two, and roll out, about ¼″ thick. Note that if crust will be on bottom and top, the bottom crust needs a bit more, and the top crust needs a bit less of the dough. Set aside while prepare the filling.
    • OR prep puff pastry (only for top of pot pies; see recipe);
    • Either recipe: Divide crust/pastry roughly into two, and roll out, about ¼″ thick. Set aside while prepare the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prep filling: Cut chicken into cubes; dice onion and celery; trim and quarter mushrooms.
  • Peel and mince garlic; sprinkle with a bit of unrefined sea salt, and press with side of knife blade to crush.
  • Cut potatoes into ¼″ – ½″ dice; then parboil in simmering water.
  • Filling: Heat butter/oil in skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat; sauté prepped onion, celery and mushrooms, until onion is translucent. Add crushed garlic with diced potatoes, peas and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. If veggies have taken up most of the butter/oil, add a bit of butter and stir until melted.
  • Stir in cubed, leftover chicken, then stir in flour and herbs, and cook about 2 minutes, stirring to ensure the flour and fat/butter are well mixed for a roux.
  • Stir in ale and stock, scraping up any browned bits. If sauce is too thick, add water or more stock, 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Pies: Transfer half of the filling to second skillet or deep-dish heavy-duty pie pan.
  • Cut each rolled pastry into a circle slightly larger than its pan, then drape each on top of the filling; press lightly so pastry adheres to edges of the pan.
  • Cut several slashes in crust.
  • Bake: Place pies on rack in center of oven. Bake 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Variation:

I local restaurant here: The Grateful Bread, makes a chicken pot-pie soup, which is similar to the above recipe but has more of a creamy base (using more stock plus half-and-half); before serving, they float two small, round pre-baked pie crusts on top.

Beef Pot Pie, with Locally-Brewed or Guinness Ale

Roast Beef

(Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Recipe is the same as for chicken pot pie, except:

  • use leftover beef roast or steak instead of chicken;
  • use beef stock instead of chickens stock
  • use Guinness ale instead of locally-brewed ale (optional)
  • use ½ tsp dried thyme and ¼ tsp dried rosemary instead of  parsley and sage
  • add 2 Tbsp tomato paste with the flour and herbs.

References:

  1. Debbie Macomber recipe in Dec 2018 AARP Magazine; available as a pdf at penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Debbie-Macombers-Table-Guiness-Pot-Pie.pdf
  2. 365 Ways to Cook Chicken, by Cheryl Sedaker, copyright 1986 by John Boswell Management, Inc.

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