Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicken Pot Pies

Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished.
Craving comfort foods with the arrival of crisp autumn weather? Comfort foods are traditionally eaten foods which often provide a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it, frequently with a high carbohydrate level and a simple preparation. The nostalgic element most comfort food has, may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture. 
That being said here are the Best Top 25 Comfort Foods 
published by Huffington Post (1-31-14)
1. Grilled Cheese
2.Mashed Potatoes
3. Mac and Cheese
4. Cheap unauthentic tacos
5. Pizza
6. Dumpling
7. Baked Ziti
8. Tomato Soup
9. Cheeseburger
10. Chocolate Pudding
11. Chicken Soup
12. Pie
13. French Onion Soup 
14. Gravy
15. French Fries
16. Shrimp Grits
17. Fried Chicken
18. Chicken Pot Pie
19. Spaghetti and Meatballs
20. Ice-cream
21. Peanut butter
22. Roast Chicken
23. Creamed Spinach
24. Ratatouille
25. Tuna Melts
Any surprises? For me not so much the foods included but the order that surprised me.
#18 Comfort Food: Ever Ready Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie (photo below) just happens to be the featured recipe.
Cook's notes: Chicken and tuna frozen pot pies were staple foods at our house when I was growing up. Remember these pies served in little tins?
Well not exactly one of my favorite meals having had them for many years so I took a gamble and set out to create my own. I had seen recipes using puff pastry for top crusts which seemed like a good alternative to standard pie crust. I also wanted a filling that was not too time consuming to make. The result was a savory pot pie chocked with veggies. It was quite tasty and a recipe to save.  
The recipe serves 4. Advance preparation: cut celery, onions and carrots ahead and refrigerate. Use rotisserie chicken for easier prep.   
  • 1 package (17.3 oz. ) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, 2 sheets, thawed
  • 3 Tb. butter
  • 1 cup each diced carrots, celery, peas, potatoes and mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3-1/4 cups chicken broth (low sodium-fat free)
  • 1 TB.  Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. herbs de Provence
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/4 cup each white wine and heavy cream
  • Grease 4 ramekins (8 oz. each) or 1 quart size ramekin. 
  • In a large fry pan melt 3 TB. butter. Add in carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes and onions. Sprinkle spices over the mixture and stir fry for 8-10 minutes until carrots and potatoes are tender-crisp.  
  • Add in 1/3 cup flour and stir for 3 minutes until flour is golden.  Slowly add in chicken broth and stir until it boils and thickens. Whisk in mustard.
  • Add in chicken, peas, wine and cream. Cook on low for 6-8 minutes. 
  • On a lightly floured wax paper surface, unfold pastry sheets and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. 
  • Use the ramekin as a template. Cut out 4 pastry tops for pies or 1 large one. Use a pizza cutter to cut puff pastry tops. Make sure filling is cooled before placing the top on. Pinch the crust around the rim so as to form a seal. 
  • Whisk one egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the puff pastry tops with egg wash and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Make an x in the center for vents. 

  •  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Watch carefully the last 5 minutes so it doesn't  get too brown. 

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