I know today isn’t Sunday, but after cooking, cleaning, and cycling yesterday, I was too tired to post my #SundaySupper recipe. So, I’m posting it today. I made chicken pot pie. I believe chicken pot pie can be categorized as comfort food. It’s the type of dish that makes you feel warm inside. The buttery crust melts in your mouth, and the creamy filling is full of tender, moist chicken and wholesome veggies. If that’s not comfort, I don’t know what is. There are a lot of steps to this pie, but they’re not hard. It took me about 30 minutes to put the entire pie together. It was totally worth it. I did cheat a little. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I used a store bought rotisserie chicken for the pie. It was delicious. Life gets busy sometimes, so why not make it easy on yourself. It was either go for a bike ride or cook a chicken. I totally chose the bike ride. Besides, I’d rather spend more time at the table with loved ones than in the kitchen by myself talking to a chicken.
It was such a lovely day in Baltimore for a bike ride yesterday. The weather was beautiful. It was sunny and 83 degrees. I’m new to cycling. So far, I love it. The open road and the fresh air- pure bliss. I have to tell you, I’m a wee bit intimidated by busy roads. I fear getting run over by a car. I know vehicles and cyclists are supposed to share the road. I totally get that concept, but I don’t think Joe Schmo in big blue has a clear understanding of that rule. I’ve been staying on smaller, less busy side streets. Maybe one day I’ll become a brave cyclist.
Not only did I have to worry about crazy drivers yesterday, but I had a run in with a swarm of bees. Anyone who knows me knows I have a huge fear of bees. No, I’m not allergic, just deathly afraid of them. As I was riding my bike (I was on the sidewalk since I fear the road), I came up to a row of cypress trees. What I didn’t know was there was a swarm of bees occupying the space by the trees. I found out a little too late. I rode directly through the bees. I had nowhere to go. There were trees to my left and the curb leading to oncoming traffic to my right. I have never rode so fast in my life. Let me just tell you, the bees were not happy that I interrupted them. I had a few bees follow me. I almost fell off the curb into oncoming traffic. It was not a pretty sight. I’m sure the people in the cars thought I was crazy. My arms were flailing all around to shoo the bees, the bike was wobbling, and I was screaming. Did I mention that I hate bees!
Sorry for that long interruption. Back to the chicken pot pie.
There’s nothing like gathering the family around the table to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Isabel from Family Foodie created #SundaySupper to get the family back together to do just that. We’re often too busy to set aside time for family, but Isabel has reminded us that nothing is more important than family.
This pie is full of hearty chunks of veggies and tender chicken. I made a béchamel sauce to pour over the chicken and veggie mixture. Don’t let the word béchamel intimidate you. It’s so easy to make. If you’ve ever made mac and cheese, you have more than likely made a béchamel. It’s just a cream sauce that’s made with milk and thickened with a roux. Super simple- I promise.
Mmm, look at the flecks of fresh thyme. My pot pie didn’t last long. It’s gone! My husband ate the last piece for lunch today.
adapted from ad hoc at home
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbs. vegetable shortening
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
I prefer using a food processor to make my dough, but you’re welcome to mix it by hand. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of your food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening, and pulse until just combined. The dough should come together slightly when pinched with your fingers. It will look like wet sand. Add the water through the opening at the top of your mixer while simultaneously pulsing the mixture. Add the water just until the mixture forms a ball. Once that happens, your done. Empty the dough out of the food processor onto a floured surface. Kneed the dough until it just comes together. Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick disk, and then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
1 cup red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup vidalia onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
Put the potatoes in a small sauce pan with water to cover and add 1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, and 10 peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until just tender, 8-10 minutes. In a different sauce pan, add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme sprig, and remaining 10 peppercorns. Cover with water and bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the veggies, and discard bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns. Add cooked veggies, frozen peas, frozen corn, and shredded chicken to a large bowl. Toss to combine and set aside.
3 tbs. unsalted butter
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 thyme sprigs
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine milk, 2 thyme sprigs, and smashed garlic. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. This helps infuse the milk with the flavors of the thyme and garlic. Strain the milk. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly (I used a flat whisk. It’s great for getting into the corners of the sauce pan). Whisk in the warm milk and lower the heat to keep the béchamel at a gentle simmer, and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced, add the salt, pepper, cayenne, parmesan cheese, and chopped thyme. Take off the heat and pour over the vegetable and chicken mixture. Toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9- or 10- inch pie plate.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut the dough in half. Place one of the halves back in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Lightly flour a clean, dry work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and roll it out to a 13- to 14- inch round, about 1/8 inch thick: roll outward from center, rotating the dough frequently and adding a little flour to the work surface or the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer the dough to your greased pie plate, gently easing the dough into the corners and up the sides. Cut off any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears. Roll the second half of the dough out the same way.
Scatter the vegetable and chicken mixture into the pie shell. Cover the filling with the second pie crust and press the edges of the dough together to seal. Trim away the excess dough that overhangs the rim. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the crust with a beaten egg. Cut 4 slits into the top of the crust with a paring knife to allow steam to escape.
Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. When the pie is finished cooking, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the pie into wedges and serve. Enjoy!