Do you buy baby potatoes to make Dum Aloo but then make potato varuval out of it? Do you get brinjals intending to make bhaingan bharta but make kathirikkai kuzhambu out of habit? Do you pick up baby corn and cauliflower with a mental picture of a stir fry but drop it in the vegetable kurma instead? You do? Then I am your best friend.
I buy chicken mentally vowing not to make chicken kurma or chicken fry. I see hot and sweet chicken wings, popcorn chicken, chicken satay and all the 1 minute food videos in a slideshow in my mind. But the morning I intend to cook the chicken, I’ve run out of corn flour or I don’t have enough time or the rest of the dishes I am making don’t go with this. I will find a reason to not make popcorn chicken.
This was the story of the Chicken pot pie. Pot pie has been on my radar for a few years now. Long before I ever tasted it, I knew I’ll like it. I knew I wanted to make it someday. Last year I tasted pot pie when I visited Boston. I was smitten. I knew I had to make it. I also knew I’ll find a reason to not make it.
Last week, I wrote down Chicken pot pie in my weekly menu. I shopped for the ingredients. I had everything I needed. I didn’t make it on Monday. I barely made it to the school van on time. I hobbled across the road, hair brush in my pocket, Hasini’s tie in one hand, lunch bags dangling from my shoulder, holding the kids hands, handing over the tie to hasini’s friend in the bus asking her to help Hasini with it. I don’t remember if I packed dosai or jam sandwich that day.
I rolled out, folded, and chilled the puff pastry dough again and again over the week, while yelling at the kids to put away their school bags, just before crashing on to the bed, when I went to get a drink of water at night. The rolling pin and bowl of flour were out all week. I decided I was going to make it on Friday. I woke up early that day. I knew it was a sign. I made it.
I must tell you. This chicken pot pie is pure beauty. At its heart, it really is a simple, hearty dish. Buttery, flaky puff pastry pairs gorgeously with the creamy, luscious, chicken filling – Comfort and indulgence in every bite. You could make it in a large shallow pie dish or make individual sized portions in ramekins or bowls. I love that Chicken pot pie can be made ahead up till the very end and frozen. When you want to serve, just pop it out of the freezer and into a hot oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden.
It is downright easy if you can buy puff pastry dough from the store. I made my own puff pastry dough because I haven’t found it in stores in Chennai. I successfully made my own puff pastry dough a couple of years back and I’ve made it quite a few times after that. This is a fool proof recipe. The pie filling is super simple to put together too.
Hasini and Yuvan adored their very own little Chicken pot pies. They loved it. I am sure I am going to be making these again and again.
- Ingredients – Chicken filling
- Chicken breast – 300 gm cut into small pieces
- Carrots – 3 medium sized, diced
- Onion – 1 small, diced
- Celery – diced to make ½ cup
- Potato – 1 large peeled and diced
- Fresh green peas – ½ cup
- Fresh cream – 200 ml
- All purpose flour/Maida – ¼ cup
- Butter – 5 tbsp
- Chicken stock – 1 cup (made in the process)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
- Dried Rosemary – ½ tsp
- Dried Thyme – ½ tsp
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Puff Pastry dough – enough to cover one round pie plate and 4 little ramekins (if you make puff pastry dough with 250 gm butter and 250 gm flour, you’ll have enough dough plus some leftover)
- 1. Bring about 3 cups water to a boil in a deep saucepan. Drop the bay leaf, dried thyme, dried rosemary into the boiling water. Let boil for 5 minutes. Strain away the bay leaf and dried me and rosemary. Put the pan with the flavoured water back on to the stove and drop in the diced chicken. Wait 7-10 minutes or till chicken is cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, strain the chicken and set aside. Reserve the liquid. This is your chicken stock.
- 2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- 3. Melt butter in a large pan. Add diced onion, carrots and celery and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add diced potatoes and saute for a another minute. Sprinkle the flour all over the vegetables. Mix and toss until the flour coats the vegetables and is cooked through – about 2 minutes.
- 4. Add the boiled chicken. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- 5. Pour in fresh cream and mix well to avoid lumps. Slowly pour in the reserved chicken stock and stir well till everything comes together.
- 6. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Add the peas. Stir well. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes or till the pie filling is thick. Switch off. Let cool slightly.
- 7. Divide the filling between your pie dishes. Roll out your puff pastry dough to a size slightly larger than your pie dishes. Cover the pie dishes with the pastry dough. Make small slits on the puff pastry.
- 8. Pop the pastry dishes into the preheated oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or till the top is golden. Serve hot. Enjoy.