I wanted to give my friend, Danielle, a personalized gift for her birthday; so, I told her I’d make a homemade dinner of her choice–wine included, of course. :) She chose these mini chicken pot pies and boy were they delicious, with a few tweaks to the original recipe. Though the individual ramekins held more than enough food, we both liked the idea of personal pot pies. One thing is for sure–this meal is hearty.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sweet onions, chopped (1 large onion, or 2 small)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
2 stalks celery, diced
1 (10-oz.) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp. dried thyme, plus more or less to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chicken breasts and poach until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes, over medium to medium-high heat.
Once cooked, remove chicken breasts and let cool. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, celery, peas, onions, parsley and thyme. Mix well.
If filling is too thin, in a small bowl, mix 4-6 tbsp. flour with enough chilled water to create a thick paste that’s thin enough to pour. Add paste to filling and stir. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, to let flavors blend.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 lb. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof ramekins. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.