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Chicken Pot Pie: The Topic


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My family have always been a top-and-bottom-crust family. Sometimes we make the crust and sometimes we use a roll-out like Pilsbury, but it's always just a plain-old crust. I think the key is to cook it hot enough and long enough for the crust to be pleasantly crisp and flaky. We usually bake at 400.

Also, even though she taught me to make the pie, now both of ours are pretty different. She does a milk-based bechamel for her base, and cooks the chicken breasts (cubed) in the butter for the roux. Mom uses a frozen veggie mix with peas, carrots, corn and green beans. The main thing that makes her CPP hers is that her main flavor component is celery seed. Some goes into the roux with the butter and chicken, and some gets either worked into the crust or sprinkled on top, sealed with a milk wash.

I, OTH, like to use pre-cooked chicken, preferably roasted, fresh veggies, and make my bechamel about 75% chicken stock/25% milk or half-and-half. I like a more savory CPP. I generally do either sage or tarragon as my herb element.

Either way, my dad can finish nearly a whole pie (from a regular pie plate) on his own, so we do a pretty deep dish pie or even a springform pan full.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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  • 2 years later...

This was quite an adventure.  I never made a pot pie before, never used puff pastry, and I screwed up the recipe.  I used way too much flour, and by the time I realized it didn't look right, I was deeply committed.  I fiddled and fussed, and ended up saving the filling, but I also ended up with more pot pie than planned.  There will be leftovers - lots of leftovers.  But it turned out to be pretty good, especially for a first attempt.

 

Use all dark meat chicken, as Toots doesn't care for breast.  Chicken was diced and sautéed before adding to the dish.

 

Sauce included champagne, left over from new years eve and frozen, butter, flour, chicken stock, cream, milk, tarragon.  Other ingredients were carrots, leeks, celery, peas, and small onions.

 

The puff pastry was Dufour, and the results were great.  Buttery and flaky, except where the pastry came in contact with the filling.  Seems that didn't help the flakiness. Overall I am happy with the first result, learned what I might do differently, and will definitely do this again.

 

First Pot Pie.jpg

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 ... Shel


 

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Buttery and flaky, except where the pastry came in contact with the filling.

That's exactly the reason I like a pot pie baked in a full shell, with pastry lining the pan. That bottom crust that baked in contact with the filling is a thing of beauty. I know you get that where the top contacts the filling as well... but you don't get as much.

 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Love th3m, too, and that looks wonderful!  How do you feel about parsnips?  I like them in a pot pie as they give an interesting, nutty taste.

 

We like parsnips, too, and I thought about using them, but the ones I saw in the market didn't look great, so I passed.  Also, I sometimes think parsnips + carrots is a little much unless the proportions are just right.  Having not made the pot pie before, I'd have just been guessing at the proportions.

 

After making and eating this, I now have a better idea of what ingredients and proportions might work for subsequent pies.  It's an evolving process.

Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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Looks tasty, but I can't say I'm familiar with the concept of "leftover Champagne".

 

Did you make your own puff pastry?  That's quite an undertaking.

 

We don't drink much, so leftover wine and champagne is not unusual here, and I like to find uses for the leftovers.

 

I used Dufour brand puff pastry.  Ingredients are butter, flour, water, salt, and lemon juice.

 

Dufour Puff Pastry.jpg

 ... Shel


 

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Gosh, I love pot pie.  I usually make it with just a biscuit top crust, sometimes with a two-crust pie pastry with egg.  The puff paste is good, but I prefer biscuit or pie dough -- seems to go better with the gravy.

 

Yours looks beautiful. 

 

Thanks for the compliment.  I'm not yet very accomplished at making biscuits, so the puff pastry seemed like a good idea, and a good starting point for my first attempt.  Certainly, other approaches to the topping will be tried.  Circumstances dictated the easiest approach this time.

 ... Shel


 

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  • 3 months later...

No personal experience though I mean to do it very soon but I've heard good things about Keller's recipe

 

 

I never make anything but TK's recipe from Ad Hoc. It's absolutely perfect in every way. I really like the fact that he didn't try to reinvent the wheel but just tried to perfect something that was already pretty damned good. It never comes out runny like some recipes tend to and has a great feel in the mouth. The only problem is that the recipe is too small for more than 3 people because nearly everyone will want seconds. 

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