Much Ado About Stuffing

Much Ado About Stuffing

Ski House Cuisine? Steaming, hearty, and classic Chicken Pot Pie

Ski weekends call for some advance planning, and a stock of good ideas for hearty, easy to prepare dinners that don’t call for too many exotic ingredients or complicated equipment. A rotisserie chicken is a quick shortcut, or just quickly stir fry a couple of boneless chicken breasts or thighs before you start. All you need for a complete meal is a beautiful green salad.
Any souffle dish, ovenproof bowl, pyrex bowl, will do for the container. I have even seen them baked in Mason Jars!

This recipe makes 4 big individual pies, which serve 4, or if made in a rectangular baking dish, it will serve up to 6. Its easy to expand this recipe. You can personalize it as you like, you can make a mexican-ish version adding corn, green chilies, and some chili powder or adobo to the sauce. etc.
  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick Earth Balance, margarine, or butter
  • 3-4 Tbsp. ice water
  • Filling: 
  • about 3 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound quartered mushrooms
  • 1 large leek, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 carrots in fat slices
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup Wondra or flour
  • 4 cups chicken soup or stock
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • one egg, beaten with a tsp of water (to brush on pastry)
  • Make the crust:
  • Put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the Earth Balance and pulse until pieces are the size of peas, 10 to 12 pulses. Drizzle 3 Tbs. ice water over the mixture. Pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together, 8 or 9 pulses more (add 1 Tbs. more water if the mixture is too dry).

    Turn the crumbs onto a large piece of plastic wrap and gather into a pile. With the heel of your hand, gently smear the dough away from you until the crumbs come together (two or three smears should do it).
    Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Form into flattened balls, wrap well and refrigerate for an hour.
    Make filling
    Heat about 2 Tbsp oil in a frying pan, cook garlic, leeks and carrots for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes more, adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix with peas and cooked chicken, and divide into four 2 cup ramekins, or put it all into a 2 quart rectangular baking pan.

    Heat 2 Tbs. oil and cook the onions until translucent, sprinkle with Wondra or flour, and cook for 3 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, and sherry. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a smooth sauce, about 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme and parsley.
    Pour sauce over the chicken and vegetables, mix gently but well. Adjust seasoning.
    Assemble crust:
    Let the dough discs soften slightly at room temperature, and between sheets of parchment, roll out into circles big enough to cover the ramekins. (Roll into a rectangle if using a rectangular pan). Carefully place the pastry over the top of the ramekin, and seal it tightly, moistening with a drop of water, sealing the crust over the container.
    At this point you can wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for a day or even freeze.
    Before baking, brush the pies with egg wash, and pierce the dough with a sharp knife in any pattern you like.
    Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F. Put the pot pies on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deep golden-brown, about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 20 before serving.
    If making ahead:
    The dough for the crust can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 1 hour before rolling.
    The filling can be prepared , cooled and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.
    The pot pies can be assembled and refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 day before baking and serving.

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