By All The Best, another certified “Good Food Fighter

Chicken Pot Pie

There is no dish more delicious and comforting on a chilly winter’s day than a good chicken pot pie- and at All The Best we make a really good one! In fact, we were delighted when a panel of experts in Post City Magazine agreed and judged our chicken pie to be the ‘BEST’ in the city.

In a good chicken pot pie all elements are assembled with care. It has moist, tender chunks of roast chicken and par-cooked tender vegetables that retain their flavour-all combined in a well-seasoned sauce under a crisp golden pastry crust. Time-consuming to prepare, for sure, but all the work can de done ahead when time allows and the chicken filling may be kept up to three days in the refrigerator or longer when frozen.

Chicken Pot Pie

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180°C)
1-1/2 lbs (750 g) skinless boneless chicken breasts and thighs
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2  carrots, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
1 stalk celery, cut 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 ml) green peas, frozen
2 cups (500 ml) Chicken Velouté Sauce, see below
4 oz (125 g) puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water 1

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a small casserole dish. Bake in preheated oven until breasts are no longer pink inside, 10 to 15 minutes. Continue to bake thighs until juices run clear when pierced, 10 minutes longer. Let cool. Trim and cut chicken into approx. 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.

In a saucepan of boiling lightly salted water, cook carrots and celery until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and run briefly under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and add to chicken in bowl. Combine cooked chicken, carrots, celery, green peas and Chicken Velouté Sauce together. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to proceed, preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Spoon chicken and vegetable filling into a 9-inch (23cm) deep-dish pie plate. Place on a baking sheet. Roll out puff pastry and cut into a circle, 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick and about 10-1/2 inches (26 cm) in diameter. Carefully lift pastry circle and lay on top of the filling, letting the pastry hang over the sides. Brush pastry with egg mixture and grind a little black pepper over top. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the pastry is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Makes One 9-inch (23 cm) deep dish pie to serve 6

Chicken Velouté Sauce 

2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock or ready-to-use broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 ml) coarsely chopped tarragon
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely sliced chives
1 tsp (5 ml) kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper

In small saucepan, heat chicken stock over medium-low heat until just simmering.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in warm stock, about 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time, whisking diligently to ensure sauce is smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce reaches consistency to coat the back of the spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in tarragon and chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 cups (500 ml)

Variations: To make individual chicken pies, spoon filling into 5 individual 3-inch (7.5 cm) pie plates and top with circles of pastry, about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Egg wash as above and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.