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Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken & Vegetable Filling Topped with Buttery Flakey Crust

Ingredients

Makes six 1.5-cup pot pies

Top Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ice water (*very cold*)
1 egg, beaten for egg wash


Filling:
3 to 3.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large filets)
(salt and pepper to taste)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions
2 large leeks (white and light green parts)
2 tsp minced fresh thyme (sub: 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1/4 cup sherry or Shao Shing (Hua Tiao) cooking rice wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

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Instructions



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Top Pie Crust:

In the bowl of a food processor, add 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 3/4 tsp of table salt and pulse it a couple of times to mix the dry ingredients.

Add in 2 sticks (16 tbsp) of cold unsalted butter that's been cut into pieces. Pulse this till the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.

In a small bowl, add in 1/2 cup of sour cream or Greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 cup of *very cold* ice water. Whisk this together till smooth. Add this to the food processor and pulse till the mixture just comes together.

Transfer this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture into the bottom of the bowl with your hands until it forms a cohesive dough. Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

Chicken Filling:

Take 3 to 3.5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large fillets), and season both sides of each piece with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, brown the chicken pieces, 5 minutes on each side. This will probably require two batches of browning. Once all the chicken pieces are browned, set them aside on a plate.

In the same Dutch oven on medium-high heat, add another 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add in 2 medium yellow onions that have been diced, and 2 large leeks that have been sliced lengthwise then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and 2 tsp of fresh thyme (if fresh thyme is not available, you can sub with 1/2 tsp dried thyme). Sauté this for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions and leeks are softened and browned.

Add in 1/4 cup of dry sherry. If dry sherry is not available you can use Shao Shing (i.e. Hua Tiao) cooking rice wine or a dry white wine (e.g. Chardonnay). Deglaze the Dutch oven and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom. Continue simmering for 1 minute, until the liquid has mostly cooked off.

Add in 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, 1/2 cup of heavy cream (sub: milk), and 2 bay leaves. Mix this together till it's uniform and let it come to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the browned chicken pieces together with any accumulated juices back into the pot. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, till the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

While the chicken is simmering, take a medium bowl, add in 3 tbsp of unsalted butter, and let the butter come to room temperature.

When the chicken is fully cooked, transfer the chicken onto a plate, and set them aside to cool. Remove and discard the 2 bay leaves.

Take the bowl with the room temperature butter, and add in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour. Using a fork, cut the butter into the flour so that it makes a paste. Ladle in two ladefulls of liquid into the paste, whisk together with a fork until the mixture becomes smooth. Repeat this with another two ladefulls of liquid, whisk together with a fork till smooth. Then repeat once more with two more ladefulls of liquid, whisk together with a fork till smooth. Then pour this mixture back into the Dutch oven, and stir gently to combine. Let the mixture continue simmering for 15 more minutes, until it thickens into the consistency of gravy.

If needed, add additional salt and pepper to taste. At this point, I also like to add 1 tbsp of granulated sugar to balance out the flavor profile. Mix together till well combined.

While the mixture is simmering for 15 minutes, dice the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch cubes.

When the sauce has thickened after 15 minutes of simmering, add in 1 1/2 cups diced carrots (about two medium carrots), and 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas. Mix this together till it's uniform, and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the carrots a bit.

Turn off the heat. Add the chicken cubes back into the pot, and 1/4 cup of minced flat-leaf parsley. Stir together till everything is well combined.

Assembling the Pies:

Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). In a small bowl, beat 1 egg to use as an egg wash. Set it aside for now.

Distribute the chicken filling equally between 6 oven-safe containers. I like to use 12 oz capacity ramekins. The filling divided into 6 should fill the 12-oz ramekins. Each ramekin will contain about 1 1/2 cups of pie. Place the 6 ramekins onto a sheet pan so they can be easily transported. The sheet pan will also help catch any stray flour, egg wash, etc. for easier cleanup.

Take the chilled dough out of the fridge and divide into 6 equal pieces. I just eyeball them and take dough from one ball and add to another till they're all approximately the same size.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll each ball of dough into a circle that will cover the top surface of your ramekin/bowl, with about 1" extra overhanging from the edges of the ramekin. Our ramekins have a 4.5" diameter, I roll out the dough into a 6.5" circle.

Place the six rounds of dough over the six ramekins, gently pressing the dough into the ramekin so that it sticks to the outer rim of the ramekin. Cut small "X" in the middle of the dough as a vent during baking.

Brush the 6 rounds of dough with the egg wash that was prepared earlier.

Bake in the preheated oven at 375 F (190 C) for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top pie crusts are golden brown. Enjoy!

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