Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie was a family favourite and was served at our local kosher restaurant.  They used a cornstarch based gravy but my daughter preferred one that was more like a milk* gravy. 
Instead of dairy milk, I use plain, non-flavoured soy milk.  Oat, rice or other milk substitutes should work well if you cannot tolerate soy.

Photos at bottom of recipe

For four hungry people or to have leftovers.  One may double this recipe and bake in a 13x9x2" baking dish.

1 kilo (~2lbs) chicken (thighs, legs, breasts) with skin on

It is important to leave the skin on as this is how one renders schmaltz - pure gold in Jewish cooking!


3 cups chicken broth or water with chicken boullion cubes, or 2-1/2 cups broth and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk* substitute for milk*-style gravy

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup diced carrots, cooked (you may use frozen...if you must)

1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

1/2 cup flour (if making milk* gravy)
or 4 T. Cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup cold water until smooth for clear gravy

2-3 square sheets frozen vegetarian (pareve) puff pastry, thawed

Large pie pan or square baking dish (see photo)

Place chicken in one layer, skin side up, into baking dish, salt and then roast at 350F/175C oven until skin is brown and chicken is tender.

Heat water and broth cubes (or broth) thyme, cayenne and black pepper in saucepan.

Dice and cook carrots until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Peas can be put in same bowl at this time.

Remove chicken from pan to cool and pour all drippings into a glass measuring cup or jar. Measure out 1/3 for the recipe and save the rest in a jar in your refrigerator - schmaltz is like gold when it comes to Jewish cooking!

When chicken is cool, pull skin off and discard and then tear off chunks of chicken and set aside.

Place one sheet of puff pastry into pie pan or square dish and trim edges so that it is coverered. You may need to use 1-1/2 sheets to cover the bottom and the sides of the baking dish. 

Poke many tiny holes in puff pastry with a fork and then put this in the oven for about 8 minutes (pre-baking the bottom crust this way keeps it from getting soggy)  Open the oven from time to time and poke additional holes as pastry will puff up. 

Remove bottom crust from oven and place on a rack to cool.

For Flour/Milk* gravy

Measure 1/3 cup of chicken drippings and pour into pan to make gravy.  Set on medium high heat and add flour and cook for 5 minutes until smooth and bubbly.  Slowly add heated broth, stirring continually until smooth.  Add milk* substitute and cook for a few more minutes.  Turn off the heat. 

Add the chicken and the vegetables to this pan.

For Cornstarch gravy

Measure 1/3 cup of chicken drippings and pour into pan to make gravy.  Set on medium high heat and add the heated broth and then slowly add the smooth cornstarch/cold water mixture.  Stir constantly until it comes to a slow boil and eventually thickens and becomes a bit clear.  Turn off the heat. 

Add the chicken and the vegetables to this pan.

Gently mix all ingredients in pan above and then turn out into pre-baked puff pastry lined baking dish. 

Cut slashes in raw top crust piece of puff pastry and arrange on the top of the chicken pie.

Place a piece of foil on middle rack of the oven.  Then place pie on top of this foil as it may bubble over.

Bake about 25 minutes until the top crust is golden brown and you begin to see the gravy bubbling out the slashes in the top.

Remove from oven and serve with a big spoon.

Note - if you have leftover chicken from a roast and also have drippings (schmaltz from the fridge will work) then you can use this to make this dish.

K (F)