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chicken pot pie

yesterday we were supposed to get a crazy snowstorm in nashville. hours before snow even materialized, schools had already closed for today + businesses said they weren’t going to open. we made sure we bought food for the next few days + settled in for a big snowy evening. well, i’m writing this at 10 PM on sunday evening, + nary a flake of snow has fallen. i was ready for the snowpocalypse of 2011, but it looks like it ain’t happening. sad!

the good thing? we planned a snowy evening meal: individual chicken pot pies. seriously, if you want a meal that screams warm, cozy homeyness, chicken pot pies immediately pop to mind. + these? they are AMAZING. honey, who is normally a fairly slow eater, chomped his down at record speed (as did i). note – if you can’t find crème fraîche, you can substitute sour cream without upsetting the flavor. the veggie to chicken ratio is perfection, + the spices/seasonings are absolutely divine. enjoy!

(update: as of 8:30 AM on monday morning, i can report that, while it was certainly no blizzard, we did get 2-3 inches overnight + it’s predicted that more snow will fall today. i am cozily working from home  accompanied by my faithful pup, + honey made it safely to work just a few miles away. happy monday!)

chicken pot pie

makes 4 generous individual servings, adapted from mark peel’s new classic family dinners


21/2 cups chicken stock
kosher salt
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 1/3 cups cooked fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
8 stalks asparagus, tough base snapped off, steamed 5 minutes, + cut in 1-inch pieces
1 cup tiny pearl onions
3/4 pound cooked chicken breast, cut in 1-inch pieces or shredded
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 fresh sage leaves, cut in chiffonade
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1 8-ounce (approximately) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water


season the chicken stock with salt. bring to a boil in a small saucepan. add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium, + boil gently for 4 minutes. remove the carrots with a slotted spoon + transfer to a bowl with the peas + asparagus. set aside.

bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil while you make a small incision with a paring knife around the root end of each pearl onion. drop into the boiling water + cook for 10 minutes, until just tender. remove from the water + transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water, then drain. peel the onions + add to the bowl with the carrots, peas, + asparagus. add the chicken + stir together. season the chicken/vegetables with salt + pepper

make the sauce. in a medium, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat + add the flour. stir together with a wooden spoon + cook until the roux is just beginning to color, about 3 minutes. remove from the heat + whisk in the chicken stock all at once. return to medium heat + bring to a simmer, whisking constantly reduce the heat to low, simmering for 15 minutes, stirring often to make sure the sauce doesn’t stick to the sides + bottom of the pan. season to taste with salt + pepper, + remove from the heat. stir in the sage + set aside to steep for 5 minutes. whisk in the crème fraîche.

butter four 1-1/2-cup ramekins (or a two-quart baking or souffle dish). scrape the sauce into the bowl with the chicken + vegetables + mix together thoroughly. distribute among the 4 ramekins or baking dish. cover the ramekins/dish with plastic wrap + place in the refrigerator while you roll out the puff pastry.

roll out the puff pastry into a thin square or rectangle large enough to cut into 4 equal pieces that can be draped over the ramekins (or 1 piece to drape over the baking dish).

whisk the egg + water together + brush the outside rim of each ramekin/dish. set the pastry on top with the dough draping over the sides. press around the sides of the ramekins to seal + pinch an attractive lip around the edges. pierce the top with the tip of a paring knife + set in the freezer for 20 minutes.

meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. place the ramekins/baking dish on a sheet tray. brush the tops with the egg wash + place in the oven. bake until golden brown + bubbling, about 20 minutes for individual ramekins, 30 minutes for one baking dish. serve hot, in the ramekins.