Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I love chicken pot pies, they are like little chicken hot tubs of creamy goodness. I especially love them with big chunks of chicken and when the veggies are still crisp.

With cold months waning, it seems only appropriate to lick the last spoonfulls of comfort food in anticipation for fresh farmers markets springing up. I’ve made a cheaters chicken pot pie to enjoy on a cold evening. When baked the creamy filling oozes out the sides of the golden crusty mini pies. The taste fills your mouth with the luxury of creamy comfort, crisp veggies, and flaky crust. What could be better?

Why is it a cheater’s pie? Well, I used: boneless skinless chicken tenderloins; frozen cut carrots, corn, peas, and green beans; and "bakers gasp" store bought pie crust. What can I say… I’m bad, I cheated… I admit. But you can be bad too, if you wanna. Or you can roll out your own crust. If I had a large food processor, I would. Excuses, excuse… back to the recipe!

Creamy Sauce:
2 Tablespoons of buttah
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 chopped yellow onion, medium size
2 chopped stalks of celery, medium size
2 cups of frozen vegetable medley, any kind, I used an organic variety
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, again I used an organic variety
2 Tablespoons of dry white wine or vermouth
1 pot of creamy sauce

Pie Crust:
2 Rolled Premade Pie Crust (Bless you Pillsbury)
A few shakes of flour to keep the crust from sticking
1 whisked egg for brushing on the crust
1. Prepare your mini tins with Pam and set on a foil covered baking sheet. This recipe made six mini pies.

2. Make your filling

a. Vegetables first: heat a large skillet with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and sweat the chopped onions and celery until slightly translucent but still crispy, the vegetables will continue to cook in the pie. When cooked but still crunchy add the frozen vegetable medley and take off the heat. Remove from the skillet and place in a large bowl set aside.

b. Chicken next: in the same large skillet, don’t bother cleaning it. Add the other Tablespoon of olive oil and dice up your chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until chicken pieces are cooked through. Add the chicken to your veggie bowl.

c. (Don’t clean the pan!) Wine sauce bit. Take your “dirty” delicious skillet and set over medium heat. Add the wine or fortified wine and with a wooden spoon stir the wine until it has taken up all the yummies off the bottom of the skillet. It will only take a minute don’t let the wine evaporate. This is good for two reasons, you don’t loose any delicious flavor, and two it makes cleanup much easier. Add the sauce to the veggies and chicken.

d. Creamy Sauce Bit: melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour before the butter is completely melted. With a wire whisk cook the flour and butter until they are a light brown almost caramel color. You don’t want it to burn but you do want to cook some of the raw flour taste out. The longer you cook this mixture the less chance you have at the sauce thickening up complete. Add your milk and continue to mix until the butter/flour paste is fully incorporated. Add your spices over the heat and continue to mix until you have a thick and creamy sauce. It only takes a few minutes. Add your creamy sauce to the veggies, chicken, and wine.

e. Fix all of the ingredients and taste. Add seasoning as required. Allow your filling to cool while you assemble your pie crusts.

3. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F

4. Assemble your mini pies

a. Cut your pie crust to fit your molds. Remember to save enough dough to make the tops.

b. Fill the bottom of your molds or mini pie plates with the crust.
c. Brush with the egg wash. You can use a pastry brush, or like me, I use whatever I have close at hand including my fingers. This time I used a new paint brush.

d. Fill the pies just to the top with your delicious creamy filling. I admit I usually overfill. But in truth, I’m guilty of overfilling just about everything from pies to laundry baskets to friend’s stomachs.

e. Take your pie tops and pinch the tops and bottoms of the pastry together.

f. Brush the tops with your egg wash

g. Take a sharp knife and make steam vents in the top crust

5. Bake your mini pot pies in pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the pies are golden brown and the gooey delicious filling is bubbling outside just a little.

6. Let cool on a wire rack.

I hope you get to use this recipe and make someone stomach and heart warm.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking.

1 comment:

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