Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Housewarming, Peabody!

You've seen me mention it several times before, but one of my very favorite food blogs is Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. Well, she recently moved into a beautiful new home and will be hosting a virtual housewarming party on Saturday. The details about the event are here; it's not too late to whip something up if you're interested, the deadline is not until Thursday night so you have two more evenings!

So I thought long and hard about what I should bring to this housewarming. If you browse through Peabody's blog, you will see a plethora of amazing baked goods. I know from experience now that I will not be disappointed with anything I make from her blog! :) So that made it even more difficult for me to decide on an appropriate dish because I wanted to bring something that had at least a little bit of complexity to it. I thought long and hard about baking some type of impressive dessert, but in the end I decided to bring a main dish instead.

I decided to bring a chicken pot pie. I came across this recipe on the reading 'riting and recipes blog a few weeks ago; when I started to peruse through my "must try" list of recipes, I thought it would be perfect for Peabody's housewarming. The first reason I chose this recipe was because I wanted to make something that was a personal challenge. I have never made my own pastry crust before, and have been meaning to try my hand at one for a while now. This chicken pot pie recipe entails making everything from scratch, including the pastry crust. The second reason I chose this recipe was because it is from one of Peabody's favorite cooks, Rebecca Rather (The Pastry Queen).

I was so happy with the outcome of this recipe! While it was a bit more time consuming than most of the recipes I make, it was well worth the effort. The cream cheese in the pastry crust makes this one of the best crusts I have ever had! :) Not bad for my first pastry crust, if I do say so myself ;) I adapted the recipe, based on the ingredients that I had on hand. Part of what I love about this recipe is that you can easily adapt it to suit your tastes based on the types of veggies you like. I've never put bell peppers in my pot pie before, but thought they were a nice addition to the filling. I particularly enjoyed the addition of crushed red pepper flakes, which gave the pot pie a subtle kick. So, I want to thank Peabody for inviting me to her housewarming party and allowing me to challenge myself to another 'first.' I cannot wait to see what everyone else brings to this event :)

Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced (instead of mushrooms and the next 2 ingredients, I used a 16 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies which included corn, peas, and green beans)
8 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounce package frozen peas
8 oz frozen carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled (I use 4 chicken breasts, poached* and shredded with 2 forks)

* To poach your chicken, put the chicken breast halves in a large saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. You can do this with frozen chicken breasts, too.

Cream Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
Salt and freshly ground white pepper (I used black pepper)

Pie Crust
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
3 cups all purpose flour
10 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (I used black pepper)
1 large egg

To make the filling:
If you will be cooking the chicken instead of using store bought rotisserie, start the chicken first so it will be ready to shred while the vegetables are sautéing.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.

While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Stir the peas and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.

To make the cream sauce:
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine. Fill individual 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.

To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.

Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls and cut out dough rounds that are 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Alternatively, you can bake this in two 9" dishes or a 13x9" inch dish, rolling out the dough to just slightly larger than the dish and topping it with the pastry, and tucking in the sides of the pastry.

Tip: You can double wrap the pot pies in plastic wrap and freeze them. When you're ready to eat them, bake them (frozen) at 350F for about 30 minutes. They will keep in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.


  1. I'm so glad you made this. I have been drooling over it ever since I saw it in the cookbook. My picky hubby of course wont eat it so I am glad you are bringing it.

  2. This is the *best* chicken pot pie recipe :)

  3. Seriously...my mouth is watering like crazy! That looks so good!! The crust is gorgeous too. :)

  4. I've had this on my list of recipes to try forever. I need to make it soon. Yours looks delicious.

  5. Your pot pie kicks my pot pies a$$!

  6. This looks gorgeous and I bet it was delicious!!!

  7. Oh my. Perfect winter comfort food! :)


  8. i made this last week too! wasn't it the most perfect, wonderful thing?!?

  9. Good for you challenging yourself with something new. You did an amzing job with that crust.

  10. That looks yummy, youe pictures are very good.Thanks for sharing:-)
    X M

  11. I made this for dinner last night and it was OH SO GOOD. Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. i made this for dinner tonight & i think next time i'll make my standard homemade pie crust on it. We loved the leftover pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon sugar & baked but the crust on the pot pie took away from the yumminess of the filling (and boy was it yummy). not sure if it was too rich or the cream cheese flavor in the crust was just not what i wanted on the pie?... anyway - this is a keeper for the filling & sauce!!!