Happy Pi Day: Feast upon this delicious tarragon chicken pot pie
Chicken pot pies are trending right now in the food world. Childhood memories of this retro dish for many will evoke visions of steaming plates presented by grandma or mom followed by that euphoric, sated feeling following a feast of classic comfort food.
There are many versions of pot pies out there, but I aimed to find one that was truly like the classic pie with pastry top and bottom and a rich sauce inside. I like to roast a couple of boneless chicken breasts the day before but can always just purchase a roasted chicken and dice it up. If you are really short for time, you can also purchase the pastry shells, but I encourage you to make this delicious scratch version and feel like a star. For my gluten-free friends, I have heard that using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour works really well as a substitute.
I also jazzed up this recipe with the addition of fresh chopped tarragon — I love tarragon. And I paired it with the delicious 2018 Chardonnay from Poplar Grove Winery.
Light a fire, put on your cozies and enjoy!
Saturday Night Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Pot Pie
(Adapted from Ricardo’s Cuisine)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
284 ml (1 can) chicken broth
½ cup russet potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups cooked chicken, diced
½ cup frozen peas
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
Egg, whisked in a bowl, for brushing pastry
In a bowl, combine 4 Tbsp of the butter with the flour. Set aside.
In a second bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the milk. Set aside.
In a large pot, soften the onion, carrot and celery in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Add the butter mixture and boil gently, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the seasoning. Stir in the chicken and peas. The sauce should be very thick but if you like, stir in a little more milk. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling. Let cool while preparing the pastry.
In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse a few seconds at a time until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar, and pulse again until the dough just begins to form. Add more water, if needed. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into two discs with your hands. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
On a floured work surface, roll out the two discs of dough and line a 23-cm (9-inch) pie plate with one of them. Make incisions in the second crust. Spoon the chicken filling into the crust. Brush around the dough with milk and cover with the second sheet of dough. Crimp the edges and brush with egg.
Bake for 50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
—This was first published October 2020
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