Who doesn’t love comfort food? And how much more “comfort” can it get then flaky, fresh pastry dough and thick, piping hot chicken soup? Now, this isn’t the easiest of recipe’s – actually, it’s incredibly time consuming. But, the plus here is that you can prep a dozen or so of these little babies and freeze them. (I currently have a whole drawer in my freezer of freshly-made frozen pot-pies, all ready to pop into the oven whenever we have surprise guests over, or are just too lazy to cook). It’s also a super creative recipe since you can substitute the stock ingredients for left-over roast, fresh meat, or keep it vegetarian. You can also play with the presentation and make one gorgeous large pot-pie, or make your guests feel special with cute individual portions, which I prefer.
I also think these make as great dinners for kids – I’m not a fan of frozen dinners and the routine chicken-nugget snacks kids love. Although good, I think this is also a great way to sneak in some much needed veggies. Kids or adults, though, they’re a guarenteed dinner favorite.
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup diced, cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup iced water
1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, beaten, for egg wash
6 Chicken Breasts
Zest of 1 Whole Lemon
Juice of 1 Whole Lemon
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt for Garnish
2 Whole Onions, chopped
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted Butter
2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream (full cream milk can be used as a substitute)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
5 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of carrots, diced
2 cups of frozen peas
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
Begin first with the dough. Knead all the ingredients together with a dough blender – you can use your hands, but to make good crust, you don’t want to break up the butter too much as it makes the crust flakier to have it in pea size forms before combing the dough into a firm ball. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for one hour. While the dough is in the fridge, start with the chicken breasts – place all six in a casserole dish and dress with all the ingredients: lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and extra garlic spice. Pop them into a preheated oven of 170C and allow to bake for a half hour. It’s better to under, then over cook the chicken breasts since they will cook further in the chicken stock. Once the chicken breasts are done, allow them to cool and begin to prep for the stock, as this is time consuming. Begin by sauteeing your chopped onions in the butter – this takes about 7-10 minutes since your sauteeing a lot of onions and butter – let them sweat properly. Then add the carrots – allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes before adding all the remaining ingredients, except the chicken: peas, parsley, bouillon cubes, heavy cream, flour and chicken stock. Allow the stock to simmer and thicken for 20 minutes. While the stock is simmering, dice your cooled chicken breasts and add to the stock. Leave to simmer for about 10 more minutes. Prepare a “dough prep area” that is floured and has your pot-pie dishes arranged. Make sure to divide your dough accordingly to the size of dishes your using, and keep in mind you’ll need a bottom and top. Once the bottom is fitted into your dishes, ladle in your stock into each dish until 3/4’s full. Cover with remaining dough and seal edges. Brush with egg wash, and garnish with fresh cracked pepper and sea-salt. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown at 180C.
They came out just perfect – steaming hot, with a firm butter-crust you had to crack to get into the oozy, warm chicken stock inside – delicious way to start the New Year.
Recipe, courtesy of my mom