Sunday, November 24, 2013

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

This recipe takes a while to make (took me about 2 hours) since all the  ingredients are poached in chicken stock, which is then reduced and turned into the sauce. You could just cook the meat and veggies by other means, but I like all the flavor they impart into the stock/sauce. Makes 4 good sized servings.

4.5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts (15 oz.)
2 cups diced potatoes
2 carrots (1.5 cups) diced
3 celery stalks diced (1 cup)
1 yellow onion, diced
8 oz. Mushroom, chopped
4 tbsp butter, divided
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp flour
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg

Bring the stock up to a simmer in a medium pot. Butterfly the chicken breasts and add to the stock. Poach for 10 minutes, keeping the stock at a bare simmer, or until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

Removed one of the breasts before I remembered to take a pic.

Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool for 10 minutes before shredding with your hands.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes to the stock and cook for about 10 minutes, until they offer just a little resistance to a fork (but not completely mush). Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water to stop further cooking. Add the potatoes to a large bowl.

Add the carrots to the stock and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the celery and onion and simmer for about 7 more minutes, until the carrots are al dente. Remove the carrots/celery/onions from the pot by placing a strainer over a large bowl (not the one with the potatoes in it) or other pot and pouring the mixture out.

All the carrots sink to the bottom.
 Rinse the vegetables under cold water and add to the bowl with the potatoes. Pour the stock back in the original pot and set to a simmer. Reduce the stock until you have 1.5 cups remaining.

Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp of butter to a large pan set over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Salt to season and sauté for 8 minutes, until the mushrooms have released much of their liquid. Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the other veggies.

Add the shredded chicken to the vegetable bowl, and season with salt, pepper, and sage.

Back to the reduced stock: add 1.5 cups of heavy cream, bring back to a simmer, and reduce for an additional 5 minutes.
While the cream/stock are reducing, add 2 tbsp of butter to a large pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add 2 tbsp of flour, and whisk, cooking for 2 minutes until the roux starts to get some color.

Add the reduced cream/stock half a cup at a time to the roux, whisking to incorporate. Once all the liquid is incorporated, season the sauce with salt, pepper, and ground thyme. Bring to a simmer, then pour over the filling ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Give everything in your big bowl of filling a good mix. Ladle into four 20 oz. ceramic (oven safe) mugs. 

Roll out a sheet of puff pastry with a rolling pin, flouring the work surface/dough if you think you need to. Mine was about 14”x14” when rolled out.
Using an object slightly larger than the opening of the mugs (mine have lids, so I used those) cut out circular lids, and place on top of the mugs, pressing the overhang of the dough into the mug to affix it. 

Wasn't sure how many servings I was going to end up with.

 At this point you can use the remaining puff pastry to cut out neat designs, like leaves or a dick or something, to place on top of the puff pastry. I started doing leaves, but they looked like crap so I stopped.

Use a fork to poke some holes in the dough to allow steam to escape. Crack an egg into a bowl and give it a good mix with a fork. Brush the egg on to the dough.

Bake the pot pies for 25 to 30 minutes.


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