What is it about Chicken Pot Pie that makes people (or just me) weak in the knees? Like literally – jello knees – or now I will call them Pot Pie knees. Maybe cuz’ I’ve been eating it since I was a young tike. Or because it involves buttery pie crust and gravy. I’ll say all of the above.
I was on the way home from a work trip, flipping through my Martha Stewart Living mag as slowly as possible to try to make it last the whole plane ride. And there it was: Martha’s Centerfolds. The magazine popped right open to 4 perfect recipes, smack dab in the middle of the magazine, all of which I stared at open mouthed and instantly started jotting down ingredients needed to make each and every one. This was one of them. Chicken Pot Pies for two. Making a whole Pot Pie is great, if you have like 4-6 people to feed. But when you don’t, sometimes it gets pushed to the back of the fridge where leftovers go to die and later be resurrected as science projects (not that that ever happens at our house – nope, never). But this was perfection – the exact amount of ingredients for two perfectly sized (6″) chicken pot pies. And, the perfect excuse to use these darling mini cast iron skillets Pat, my M-I-L, bought me for my birthday last year.
What made these extra wicked easy?
1) This g enius creation to my left from the man who I’d most like to meet in my life – Trader Joe (even if he’s not real). It’s a pre-chopped mix of onion, celery and carrot. I like chopping as much as the next guy – it can be therapeutic and I like to see how close I can get the knife to the tip of my fingers without chopping them off. But alas, after a long day at work, chopping is for the birds. This mix from Trader Joe (in the refrigerated produce section – where you get the veggies in plastic bags that you can make in the microwave) and it was the exact amount of onions I needed and then there was a smidge extra of the carrots and celery (which could be used for any one of these – just sayin’).
2) As much as I hate to do this sometimes, I caved and bought a precooked rotisserie chicken. It always seems wasteful because there’s so much that ends up getting thrown away, but in a pinch – man, they save lives. And dinners. And subsequently, marriages.
3) Puff pastry – I may have even eaten the flakes off my lap. It’s that good.
No science project here kiddos
- 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 large onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1 small carrot, chopped or cubed (1/3 cup)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped or sliced thinly (1/3 cup)
- 1 small yukon gold potato, cubed into 1/2" chunks
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 & 1/2 cups cooked chicken (the meat from 1 small pre-cooked rotisserie or about 8oz. of boneless, skinless chicken breast will work)
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured parchment lined baking sheet and then take your individual cast iron skillets (or any oven proof dish that is 6" in diameter) and place them on top of the puff pastry sheets. Cut the circle around the skillet so that it's about 1/2" wider in diameter than the dish. Set the two circles aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and then add the garlic and onion, stirring until soft and fragrant (about 4 minutes). Add the carrot, celery and potato until soft (about another 6 minutes). Stir in the flour and the broth and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and then simmer until thickened (about 2 minutes). Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Divide the mixture between the two dishes then top each with a pastry puff circle. Press the puff pastry around the edges to seal, making a couple slits in the center. Bake in preheated oven on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until puff pastry starts to turn golden brown.
- *Save some time and use the Mirepoix mix from Trader Joes (pictured above - a pre-chopped mixture of onion, celery and carrot) and also one small sized rotisserie chicken will yield just the right amount that the recipe calls for.