Monday, November 21, 2011

Mini Chicken pot pie with herb crust

I have been doing a lot of dessert lately so I decided to do a savory pie this time. One thing about this dish is that it can be individualized-- like if you are having a intimate party for your friends. (if you want to save time, you can also make this as one big dish).

I bought some lovely cups of different sizes from Landmark and some at Gourdo's (they are quite inexpensive. I think only 25 pesos/ pc.- depending on size ~ that's about 50 cents US)-- it looks so much more presentable and it's not pricey. Don't you just love it?

TIP: Do the pastry first and leave in the refrigerator to chill.

You'll need:


2 tablespoons mixed fresh herb leaves, such as flat-leaf parsley, sage, chives, thyme, dill, rosemary, and oregano (in my case, I used sage and oregano I had in my garden)
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


1 whole chicken (4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry 
4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock 
1 large onion, halved 
2 bay leaves 
½ teaspoon black peppercorns 
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 celery stalk, cut into thirds 
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
9 ounces red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks (about 1 large potato)
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds and rinsed well 
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds 
6 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and halved (quartered if large) -- you can use canned button mushrooms)
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 
1 cup milk 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 
2 teaspoons coarse salt 
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 1. Put chicken, stock, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme sprigs, and celery in an 8‑quart pot. Add water to cover. Cover pot; bring to a boil. Uncover; reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour. 

2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and discard. Cut meat from bones; discard bones. Using a fork, shred into bite-size pieces. 

3. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Set aside 2 cups stock. (Reserve remaining stock for another use.) 

4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and pearl onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add leek, carrots, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. 

5. Stir in reserved 2 cups stock and the milk. Bring mixture to a simmer; cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, chopped parsley, thyme leaves, zest, salt, and pepper. (at this point... do a taste test to see if the salt and pepper is enough) Divide chicken mixture among eight 4-by-2-inch ramekins, filling almost to top. Let cool slightly. (you can use a big pie plate if you're lazy to do individual ones)

6.Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough ¼ inch thick. Arrange herbs on top; roll out dough ⅛ inch thick, gently pressing herbs.

7.Using a 4½-inch fluted cutter, (or a large coffee cup) cut out 8 rounds of dough. Brush edges of ramekins with egg wash. Place dough rounds over filling. Gently press to seal. Freeze until dough is firm, about 10 minutes. 

8. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush dough with egg wash. With a paring knife, cut 4 steam vents in each round. Bake until golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 to 15 minutes, and serve.

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart PIES cookbook

The herb crust really adds a lot of flavor to the usually tasteless crust. I should note that you should adjust the seasonings according to taste. I think I needed more salt and pepper in my pot pie. (taste before you put on the pastry)-- These can be kept in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the oven at a later time. (the taste actually improved in the reheating)

Get some white wine and enjoy!

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