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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easy Puff Pastry Pot Pie

I previously wrote that you can't have a pot pie without top and bottom crust.

And I really do believe that the best pot pies have both crusts. However, I also understand that sometimes, we are pressed for time and can't make our own pastry to line our pies.  The best option in these cases is usually frozen puff pastry. You just thaw it, roll it out over your pie filling, brush it with an egg wash, and put it in the oven. No fuss whatsoever. The down side? No bottom crust, as the puff pastry will be soggy and doughy.

So, sometimes we have to give a little to take a little. Compromise that crust we love so much for the conveniences of frozen pastry. And while I still believe that both crusts are best, I am okay with the compromise once in a while.

In this case, I used left over roasted chicken in this pot pie. Okay, maybe it wasn't really leftovers. I intentionally roasted two of my favorite Citrus & Thyme Roasted Chickens just so I could eat one, and make pie with the other! (Also great with Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving leftovers!).

The citrus imparts a really nice flavour to the filling and brightens it up. It's really fantastic!

Easy Puff Pastry Pot Pie
Makes 1 large rectangular casserole or 4 small pie tins

1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Leeks, white and green, sliced finely
1 Large Carrot, diced
1 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
3 cups Chicken Meat, torn or cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups Frozen Peas
1/4 cup Flour
2 1/2 cups Stock (Chicken or Veggie)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 sheet Puff Pastry
1 Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add leeks, carrots, thyme, and salt and pepper and saute for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken and peas to the mixture. Then, in a separate bowl mix flour with the stock, ensuring that all the flour is incorporated. Add the stock mixture and the lemon juice to the pan. Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Spoon the filling mixture into the casserole or pie tins. Lay the pastry over top and fold under the edges of the serving dish (cut first into squares if making individual pie tins). Slash the top of the pastry a few times so the steam will escape when cooking. Brush with the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top.

(Make Ahead: brush with egg wash, cover and freeze until ready to bake. Bake directly from frozen for approximately 50 minutes)

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