Sunday, March 12, 2017

Puff Pastry Creamy Chicken Pot Pie

If you’re a sucker for Chicken Pot Pie, this recipe is one that you must try. Store-bought puff pastry dough stands in for traditional pie crust here. And, it’s nothing short of magical. I’ve made pot pie with puff pastry in the past, but simply laid the giant piece of dough across the top of the baking dish. While that was good, I really like cutting the dough into small squares, then layering them up on top of the filling. Yes, the result is prettier – in my opinion – but, more importantly, I just love all of those flaky nooks and crannies that are created.


The recipe starts with gently cooking onions, celery and carrots in butter, then sprinkling in a little flour. This is the base of the gravy that will be created. After stirring in milk and a little heavy cream, the sauce gets flavored with bouillon, a pinch of Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. A handful of frozen peas and tender, cooked chicken are added to the party before the gravy gets transferred to a baking dish. Store-bought puff pastry that has been cut into cute, little squares gets haphazardly layered on top, then into the oven it all goes.

NOTE:  The recipe calls for a couple of cups of cooked chicken. A store-bought rotisserie chicken can be a great time-saver. Just remove the meat, then either shred or cube per your preference. To prepare the chicken at home, I simply roast two boneless and skinless chicken breasts - coated in a little olive oil, salt and pepper - for 30 - 40 minutes {or until fully cooked through} in a 400-degree oven.
 
Yields 4 servings.
 
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Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons diced celery
2 tablespoons diced carrot
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 chicken bouillon cubes
½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
¼ cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked cubed or shredded chicken {see paragraph above}
1 sheet puff pastry {thawed – but kept cold - if purchased frozen}
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a medium baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Add oil and butter to a saucepan set to medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add onion, celery and carrot. Cook – stirring occasionally – for about three minutes or until vegetables slightly soften. Sprinkle in flour.
 

Stir to coat vegetables with flour. Cook for two minutes – stirring occasionally.  Increase heat to medium. Stir in milk and cream. Add bouillon cubes and Herbs de Provence.

Cook about five minutes – stirring occasionally – while sauce thickens and bouillon cubes dissolve. Reduce heat if sauce boils too rapidly or thickens too quickly. If needed, additional milk can be added if sauce becomes too thick.

{If necessary, use the back of a spoon to break down the bouillon cubes as they soften.}

Taste and season with salt and pepper per your preference. {A good deal of pepper is recommended. The amount of salt needed will depend on the strength of the bouillon.}

Stir in peas. Add chicken.
 

Stir to combine. Pour into baking dish.

Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut puff pastry sheet into small squares {about one-inch each.} Gently layer onto filling. {Do not layer too thick or pastry will not cook properly. You may not use the entire amount of puff pastry.}
 

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush top of pastry with egg wash.
 

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden and puffed.

Serve immediately.
 

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