Chicken Pot Pie
by Sally Hillis, R.D., Hillis & Company, Lincoln, Nebraska
This is a crowd-pleaser and an easy way to use leftover chicken, as well as a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your meal. It’s especially good when you make the chicken mixture the day before, assemble the pies, then bake them just prior to serving. Individually-sized oven-proof baking dishes work particularly well for this recipe, but use whatever you have on hand. Everyone will love it!
- 2 pounds Smart Chicken, diced (a mixture of light and dark meat works nicely)
- 2 cups carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (if fresh herbs are not available, substitute 1 tablespoon dried herbs de Provence)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock, cold or room temperature
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 17-ounce box puffed pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a 4-quart stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly tender. Add onion and celery and continue cooking for 3 to 5 more minutes until vegetables are tender, yet still have a little crunch. Remove vegetables from stockpot and set aside in a bowl, leaving any oil in pot.
If needed, add more oil to pot to make approximately 2 tablespoons. Heat oil over medium-high heat, and add diced Smart Chicken and salt and pepper; sauté, stirring occasionally until completely cooked (approximately 7 to 10 minutes). While the chicken is cooking, in a separate bowl, dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch in 2 cups chicken stock and set aside. After chicken has finished cooking, add cooked vegetables, rosemary, parsley, crushed red pepper, and 2 cups chicken stock to chicken mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir in remaining chicken stock and cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until mixture becomes slightly thickened. Turn off heat, add vinegar, and stir.
Transfer chicken mixture to oven-proof baking dishes. Gently roll out the puffed pastry to about three fourths its original thickness, then cut pastry sheet to cover the mixture and hang slightly over the edge of this dish. Stretch puffed pastry firmly over dish, so that it's not touching chicken mixture. Brush puffed pastry with egg and water mixture. Place baking dishes on a sheet pan to catch spills. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through to 165°F. (Cooking time will vary depending on size of baking dish.)
Note: You can use any combination of frozen (thaw before adding) or precooked fresh vegetables in this recipe. Other choices might include peas, corn, green beans, winter squash, potatoes, or zucchini.