While you all know that I love baking pretty much any sweet thing under the sun, you may not know that I also have a certain fondness for savory baking. I love making quiche, and I really enjoyed the vol-au-vent party I had last year and the asparagus tart I made for Easter dinner. I think it's so interesting to pair puff pastry or dough with savory ingredients.
A couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to make chicken pot pie from scratch. Chicken pot pie is one of those incredibly comforting meals. It's so easy to grab a package from the freezer section and pop it in the oven, but it's not that much more difficult to make it at home -- even for those of you who shy away from baking. It does take a bit of time to prepare, but most of that time is down time, waiting for the dough to chill or the filling to cool.
You can find the recipe for chicken pot pie that I used on the publisher's site, so I'm not going to rewrite it here. But I'll give you the recipe for the flaky tart dough you'll need for the recipe.
Flaky Tart Dough (adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place butter pieces on a plate, and chill them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
Pour the water in a small bowl or measuring cup, and keep it refrigerated until needed.
Place flour and salt in food processor and process for 10 seconds, just until mixed.
Add frozen butter pieces, and pulse 6 to 10 times. The mixture will be clumpy.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the mixture, and stir it in by fluffing the mixture with a fork. Continue adding water one tablespoon at a time and fluffing the mixture after each addition until you have added 3 tablespoons.
Take a handful of dough and squeeze it. If the dough is too dry, it will crumble and fall apart. Add another tablespoon of water and fluff it in. If the dough is just right, it will hold together when you squeeze it.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it gently a few times. Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Lightly flour your countertop, and place the dough on it. Roll the dough out into a 14- or 15-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. (I used a square dish instead of a deep dish pie plate, so I rolled my dough into a square.) Place the dough circle on a sheet pan, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You're now ready to move on to the chicken pot pie recipe.
It calls for cooked chicken, which is really great if you have leftover chicken. If you don't, I recommend poaching the chicken. Place boneless skinless breast or cutlets in a large skillet. Fill the skillet with water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover and the heat down to keep water at a gentle simmer. Leave the chicken in the water for 16 to 18 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 160 degrees. Let chicken cool slightly, and then chop it into cubes.
I followed the recipe as written, except I left out the mushrooms and peas. Next time, if I leave the mushrooms out again, I'll cut back the broth as well because the filling was a little thin. I'm sure the mushrooms would have soaked up some of the liquid.
|Chicken pot pie filling|
|Filling topped with crust|
|Crust brushed with egg and milk mixture|
|Golden brown all over|
|Look at how hot and bubby it is!|
|Time to dig in|