Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie in June

There's something about Portland weather.  The rain, you might say.  It's that every June, I start getting the urge to cook bread, soups, and stews again, even though I thought I'd given that up for the summer.

Portland always gives you a few really warm, summery, breezy days in May, then takes them all back for a few rainy, cold, sleazy days in the beginning of June.  It's those rainy June days when I want something like chicken pot pie. 

The nice thing about this dish is, you can put your spring vegetables in it if you want.

Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie

The first thing to consider when making chicken pot pie is how much volume your pot - or in this case your casserole dish - holds.  To determine this, you can fill your casserole with water and then dump that water in the pot that you will use to stew your ingredients, take a note of the level that it fills to, and proceed.  Or, if you would like to be authentic, I suppose you could just use your sauce pot for the chicken pot pie.  I don't know.  I'm not trying to be authentic - just delicious.

Next you need to cut out your pastry dough.  I use the dough from my croissant recipe or the Quicker, Easier Croissant Recipe to make this chicken pot pie.  Roll enough of that recipe worth of dough to cover your dish 1/2 inch thick on parchment paper.  Don't make it too thin.  Lay your casserole dish or pot on top of that dough and cut the dough to fit.  If it's a casserole dish like mine, cut the pastry dough to the edge of the dish.  If it's a pot that you want to cover, make sure your pastry dough is big enough to go about an inch down the side.  The dough will shrink while cooking, so don't cut it too small.

Cut a vent in the middle of the dough, and set it aside to rise while you put your filling together.  (If it's not a yeasted puff pastry, stick it in the fridge while you prep the filling.)

I won't give specific measurement because it depends on the size of your pot or dish.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine well:

GF all-purpose flour, preferably one without xanthan gum like my Pancake Flour Blend, about 1/4 cup for a medium-sized casserole dish

equal amount of water

whisk those together until well-combined, then set aside.

Brown in a sauce pan or stock pot:

1-2 Tbsp oil
onions or shallots
other vegetables to taste

Deglaze the pan with:

white wine or GF beer.

Fill the pan part way with:

chicken stock


pieces of cooked chicken
whole cumin 
salt and pepper
Other herbs and spices to taste 

Simmer all the ingredients for a minute, then add the flour and water mixure.  Blend that in well.  Fill the pot to the place that you have marked for the full volume you will need with:

more vegetables, e.g. broccoli

Once the broccoli or other veggies have cooked for a minute, you can turn off the heat and remove the stew to your casserole dish.  Take your pastry dough and fold the corners of the parchment paper over it.  Flip it over and place it on top of your casserole.  Pull out the corners of the parchment paper from underneath the dough and peel it off the top as well.  Brush the pastry with a mixture of:

egg, beaten,

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.