Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dish of the Day - Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

I never dreamed I'd be doing this, but yes. I made a chicken pie from scratch. And it was absolutely delicious! For anyone who is interested in this dish, the sauce and veggies are what really makes it, so don't be afraid to try it with tofu and vegetable stock instead of the chicken. If you do, let me know how it turns out!


1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast - cubed
1 c sliced carrots
1 c frozen peas (actually I just did 2 c frozen peas and carrots)
1/2 c sliced celery, about 2 stalks
1/3 c butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 3/4 c chicken broth
2/3 c milk
1 package pillsbury 9" pie crusts (2 crusts per package), room temp

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Roll bottom crust into pie pan. Brush with egg white and bake for 5 min. Set aside.
3. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery. Add water to cover and bullion cube and boil for 15 min. Drain and set aside.
4. In a saucepan over low heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, and spices. Slowly stir in broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and cover.
5. Place chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour sauce over. Use a spoon to ensure the sauce gets to the lower layers of the chicken mix. Cover with top pie crust, seal edges, and cut several slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until pastry is goldren brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Something to think about:
I doubled the sauce when I made it, but had a lot of sauce left over. I think I needed perhaps 1 1/2 the sauce rather than twice the sauce. I left the amounts for the sauce as original so you can make up your own mind. The sauce is basically the butter, broth, flour, and milk, so if you mess with the amount of sauce then you must apply your messings to all of those items.

After making this, my boyfriend mentioned to a chef friend how good it came out, and he asked me some questions. "Oh it's a basic bechamel sauce then?" I had no clue what he was talking about. He told me that a bechamel sauce is one of the "mother sauces" of french cuisine. Alway eager to learn, I asked for further explanation.

The Mother Sauces of French Cuisine
  • bechamel - It is traditionally made by whisking scalded milk gradually into a white flour-butter roux (equal parts clarified butter and flour).
  • espagnole - Based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with a brown roux.
  • veloute - Based on a white stock, thickened with a blonde roux.
  • allemande - Based on velouté sauce, is thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream.
  • tomato sauce - Any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes
  • hollandaise - An emulsion of butter and lemon juice or vinegar using egg yolks as the emulsifying agent, usually seasoned with salt and a little black pepper or cayenne pepper.
He said something about white stock being raw chicken bones or fish, brown being roasted chicken or mammal bones covered in tomato paste. Lovely.

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