Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

March 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

When cooking for flavor, one can’t go wrong with butter, leeks, tarragon & a lustrous crust. Although it’s now officially Spring (thank goodness), the chilly nights still beckon for a bit of something warm & hearty.

This recipe found me when I was desperate to make a yummy, yet basic dinner while visiting my boyfriend. Inspired by a chicken pie recipe from Food & Wine, this pot-pie was tested & wholly approved by hungry college guys. If that is not enough to convince you it is worth making, I don’t know what else to say.

Crust

11/4 cups all-purpose flour,  1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt, 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/4 cup *ice water,  1 tsp vinegar

*Cold water helps to keep the fat from melting, which you do not want to happen while making the dough. I fill a liquid measuring cup with cold tap water & throw in a couple of ice cubes just to make sure the water stays icy.

Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

4 chicken thighs (skin on), reserve drippings,  sea salt & fresh-ground black pepper,  1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil,  2 Tbsp organic butter,  1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,  1 large white onion diced into 1/4″ pieces,  1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut arcoss into 1/2″ pieces, 1 Tbsp grainy mustard,  1/4 cup all-purpose flour,  1 cup organic chicken broth,  1 cup organic whole milk,  2 Tbsp dried tarragon, 14 oz. pie dough, recipe below ( if you don’t have time, store-bought puff pastry works),  1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven on bake to 350 degrees F.

Crust: To make the dough, sift flour & salt into a food processor. Process until fully mixed. Cube butter into the food processor. Pulse until there are pea-sized pieces. Combine ice water and vinegar. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and add liquid. Work thoroughly with hands until dough forms. Be careful not to over work. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  This dough can be kept frozen for future use.

Chicken: While dough hardens in the fridge, prepare the filling for the pie. Oil a baking dish or casserole pan with olive oil. Place chicken thighs in the oiled dish, fat side up, & season with black pepper, salt, & olive oil. Chop carrots into 1/4 inch coin-sized pieces.  Add coined carrots to casserole dish with chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender but fully cooked.

Filling: Meanwhile add butter, onion & leek to a pot over medium heat. Season with salt & pepper. Add olive oil & saute for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add mustard & flour, mix well. Pour in the drippings from the chicken (you may have to take them out of the oven momentarily if they are not finished baking). Add chicken broth & milk, continue mixing. When the filling thickens, add tarragon & decrease the heat slightly, mixing until it is completely incorporated. When chicken is fully cooked, remove the skin, shred the meat & add it, along with the baked carrots to the filling. Mix well then cut the heat fully. Let sit until dough is ready to be filled.

Coat a pie dish or deep rectangular casserole dish (I used the later because a pie dish wasn’t available) with olive oil.  Flour a clean surface & roll out dough until it is 1/4 – 1/3 inch. Split dough in half and lay one piece in the oiled pie dish making sure the sides of the dish are covered & there are minimal air pockets between the dough & dish.

Pour chicken filling into the dough-lined dish. Cover with the remaining piece of dough, pressing the outer edges of the bottom & top dough together. Beat an egg & brush the top of the dough. Make three slits in the dough to prevent any messy explosions. Top with some ground black pepper & bake for an hour, until dough transforms to a warm, slightly browned crust.

Now, because I grew up eating pot-pie over warm crispy toast (to soak up the gravy, obviously) I recommend it that way. On a totally different note, if your salivating, but don’t eat meat, substitute the chicken with a mixture of mushrooms. Just be sure to saute the mushrooms in some cooking wine to give them a deep, meaty flavor.

Bon appetit!

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