24 September 2010
Chicken pot pie is one of my all-time favorite cool-weather comfort classics. Sometimes I make a 9-inch round pie or even a 13x9x2-inch pie, but individual pot pies are just so cute! Especially these petite ones in 8-ounce ramekins, the perfect size for a "something different" first course or for pairing with soup and/or salad for a light lunch. You could even make them for a chic little "small plates" party! I always make the big pies with both top and bottom crust, but I like the petite pies with just a top crust.
Petite Chicken Pot Pies
Pastry (see below)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2/3 cup finely diced carrots
1 1/2 cups halved, finely sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium skillet, melt butter and saute onion for 3 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper and carrots; saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two. Gradually add broth, cream and sherry; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in the chicken and peas. (It's easy to forget about the peas because all the other vegetables went in at the beginning. But don't! The peas are wonderful.) Adjust seasoning. Divide mixture among six 8-ounce ramekins.
2 Roll out the pie crust to nearly 1/4-inch thick. Using your ramekin as a template, cut out 8 circles about 1/2 inch greater in diameter than the ramekins. Top each ramekin with a circle of dough, fold excess under, press down the edges or crimp with a fork, and cut a 1-inch slit, or prick with fork, to vent. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
If you like, prepare ahead of time. Chill filling, assemble, cover pies and keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Preheat oven to 400 degrees 45 minutes before serving time. Put pies in oven 30 minutes before serving time. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Pastry (food processor* method)
1 1/2 packed cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar
1 With metal blade in place, add flour, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas.
2 In cup, combine lemon juice and ice water. Pour over all of flour mixture; pulse for six 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process. (The amount of water you will need depends on your climate and the moisture content of your flour. You may not need to use quite as much water as I do.)
3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 4-inch round disk; double wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to three days. (Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.)
* I have the DLC-10E, which (understandably after all this time) is no longer available. See the "My Little Shop" page for a current model.