Monday, March 17, 2014

Seriously Amazing Mini Chicken Pot Pies

So what does your meal planning look like when a possible Russian invasion is imminent?  Well, something that you fix today, while things are calm, that you can later pull out of a freezer with minimal fuss and thinking.  'Cause you may have other things on your mind at that point.

So today I made a batch of lovely mini Chicken pot pies.  Each pie is a hearty single serving.  Just
throw a salad together and you have a great comforting delicious meal.  

Note-  these are not like your grocery-store freezer section pot pies.   They are SOOOO delicious.  No glue-like muck or cardboard crust here.  Just pure delectability.

Thus my use of desciptive adjectives in the title.  These are Seriously Amazing.  And I promise, I am not just feeding you propaganda.  Tender, flaky crust, juicy chicken, just the right amount of seasoning.  Ok, I'll be honest, these do take a little more work than pulling a cardboard box out of the freezer.  But OH SO GOOD!  

This recipe makes 8 mini pot pies, and they are freezable, so for my husband and I, that'll make 4 dinners.  So it's worth one afternoon of work for four delectable dinners.  And who doesn't need some lip-smacking comfort food when the Russian army comes for dinner?

The Step-by-Step

Prep and Cook the Veggies

Chop your veggies.  Get some butter melting in a large pot on the stove.

Saute the veggies in the butter for awhile.  Stir, stir.  Keep going until the carrots start getting a bit soft.

Make the Filling

Add flour, salt, and herbs.  Stir it all up.  Check out the windows and see if any Russian soldiers are in the area.

Add milk and chicken broth.  

Now it looks like this.  Stir and cook on medium until the gravy thickens nicely and the potatoes are mostly cooked through.

See how nicely that has thickened?  Now add your cooked chicken and frozen peas.  Listen for possible tanks approaching.

There.  The filling is finished.  Now onto the crusts....

Fill Crusts and Bake or Freeze

Alright, now get out your pie crusts and divide the dough that would normally be used for one pie into four pieces.  Do that for all 4 pie crusts and you'll have 16 lumps of dough.  Roll those all out into circles -- 8 for the bottom crusts and 8 for the top crusts.  

Line the 4" mini pans with crust circles, divide filling into each pan (about a cup of filling for each mini pie) and add the top crusts.

(P.S. You can also just make two regular-sized pot pies at this point if you aren't into the mini pie thing - just bake it longer).

After sealing all of the top crusts with whatever crimping/edging method you prefer, brush the tops with eggwash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water) and a sprinkle of parsley.  Just for kicks.

Now you should have 8 of these lovely, fat little pies.  At this point you can bake or freeze, however you wish.  

If you are baking any of the pies immediately, put them on a baking sheet for easier handling, and bake on the bottom rack for about 20 minutes.   

While baking, double check your bug-out bag, making sure you haven't forgotten to pack the baby pictures or the passports.


And there you have it.  PERFECT one-serving pot pies.  You're all set for a nice dinner with a movie, or an armed invasion.  Either one.  

Приятного апетита!

The Recipe 


2 cups chopped onion
2 cups diced potato
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon chicken bullion granules
1 3/4 cup milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
4 cups cooked chicken
4 pie crusts * (recipe below or use store-bought or your own recipe)
1 beaten egg +  1 Tablespoon water

Saute onion, potato, carrot and celery in the butter in a large saucepan on the stove.  Saute until potatoes and carrots begin to get soft.

Stir in the flour, bullion, sage, rosemary and parsley until all the vegetables are coated with the flour mixture.

Add milk and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then stir and cook on medium heat until the liquid thickens and potatoes are tender.

Stir in cooked chicken and frozen peas.  Remove the pot from the heat.

For mini pies, divide each pie crust into four.  Roll each portion out into circles and line 8 mini pie pans (4" diameter) with crusts.  Divide filling among the pies and top with remaining crusts.  (For regular sized pies, line 2 pie pan with crusts, divide the filling in half and top with the remaining two crusts).

Mix the beaten egg and water and brush evenly onto the  tops of the pies.  Sprinkle with dried parsley, if desired.  At this point, the pot pies can be baked or frozen

Bake 350F (175C) for 20-25 minutes on the bottom rack until tops are golden brown.  (Bake the larger pies longer.)  

Or freeze the pies uncooked.    To cook frozen pies, remove from freezer 30 minutes before cooking.  Bake 40-50 minutes (cover with foil halfway through to avoid over-browning).  Bake until tops are golden and filling is bubbly.

Recipe for Tender Flaky Pie Crusts


4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cup real butter
3/4 - 1 cup ice water
2 egg yolks
4 teaspoons vinegar

Mix flour, salt and sugar.  Cut in butter with fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture looks sandy.  

Beat the egg yolks and add to 3/4 cup ice water along with the vinegar.  Add to the flour mixture a little at a time, tossing with a fork to moisten the flour mixture.  Add more ice water if needed, just enough to moisten all the flour.  

Form the dough into 4 large disks and seal in plastic wrap or ziploc bags. Refrigerate at least one hour or until you are ready to use it.  (Can also freeze if you aren't going to use it in a couple of days).  Handle the dough as little as possible.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Bake as directed in recipe.