I am generally not a big fan of “white food.” And I am not being a bigot. I don’t mean white in a caucasian sense. I literally mean dishes that are a creamy white or have white sauces. However, in the past few years, that pale bias has started to crack and I have taken a liking to dishes such as cauliflower gratins, etc. So after watching some cooking show a while back that featured easy to make chicken pot pies, I thought I should try and make one and see if I could overcome my aversion to white sauces…
First I made the pastry, based on my normal pie pastry, recipe here. Just add a little saly and pepper to the pastry to make it a little more savory friendly. This recipe is loosely based on Ina Garten’s version of chicken pot pie, with several changes. Sprinkle some olive oil salt and pepper on chicken breasts and roast them in the oven until done. Remove the skin and chop the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes. You should use roughly 1 large chicken breast or 1.5 medium sized ones for each onion soup bowl like in the photos here. For 4 servings, roughly 4+ cups of chopped chicken breast.
In a small pot, heat up 4-5 cups of chicken stock and add a concentrated porcini flavored cube or chicken bouillon cubes to intensify the flavor of the stock. In a enamel pan, melt about 1.5 sticks of good butter, saute some chopped onions, until cooked, some 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup flour and mix into the butter and onions then add all of the hot chicken stock and whisk to blend this all together. Lower the heat and watch the sauce thicken over the next mintue or two. Add salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Add the chopped chicken, chopped carrots, peas, baby onions (I used bottled onions that were drained and rinsed), and some chopped parsley leaves. You can add some sauteed mushrooms (not too watery) to the mix as well.
Divide the filling into the four bowls and cover with pastry and brush with an egg wash and bake for about an hour in a 375F oven until nicely colored. Serve a few minutes later and warn guests they could burn the roofs of their mouths off if they aren’t careful. The verdict on taste? A solid 8 or 8.5 out of 10.0. Not bad for a “white” dish. This was rich, hearty and delicious without being overly heavy. Adjust your filling to include a greater proportion of veggies if you prefer it that way. This is very similar to a “pastel” which tends to have tomato sauce, but I liked this classic chicken pot pie. And it is great for entertaining as you can make this ahead, cool the filling, assemble and then just pop into the oven an hour before you sit down to dinner. Yum! Mind you, with that much butter and some heavy cream, how can you go wrong???