the pie | chicken + veg pot pie part 3

I'm not gonna lie to you, we are definitely not eating this pie this Sunday for Father's Day.

Not because it's not amazingly delicious, but because we've already been eating it for months and months making sure we got it just right. Lol - John has even been kindly chipping away at the last of the leftovers kept in the freezer every day this week for lunch. 

On our hike that we took this past weekend I joked and said, "So, for Father's Day, I'm thinking, chicken + veg pot pie for dinner?" :) 

In all honestly I think we're going out for burritos for FD because I've worked so hard on recipes that I can't wait to share on here (like this pie!) that I just don't want to cook on Sunday. 

That's the thing with food blogging. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. SO MUCH RECIPE TESTING. That when it comes time for me to actually make a meal for my little family I put my hands up in the air and ask (beg) John if he can grab something on the way home from Trader Joe's. 

I think we've gotten to the point where I have to ask myself, "How many times do I want to eat this?" before I consider recipe developing. It's awesome. And fun. And I love it and I LOVE this pie and John loves it too and I've served it to a lot of people - and every time I've gotten enthusiastic "seconds please" from all. So! Now that I've talked it up a ton, let's dive in. 

Here's the thing about this pie. It takes a little time. All good food does. But then let's slap pie into the "really good food" equation and it takes a teeny bit of extra work to get there - but I promise - I'm gonna try to save you as much time as possible with this timeline AND I also promise it's stinking WORTH the effort or I wouldn't have eaten it at least 10 times. 

Chicken + Veg Pot Pie Timeline: 

1-3 days before:

1. Make your brisée dough, tightly wrap it, and store it in the fridge. 

2. Roast your chicken. tip: You can even just buy a pre-roasted chicken from your favorite source if you'd rather save time that way. 

3. Chop 1 whole breast of your roasted chicken, skin removed and store it in the fridge. 

1 day before or morning of: 

4. Chop all your veggies and measure them out into containers / little baggies so you don't have to measure them again. You can even go as far as to make the entire veggie filling AND sauce a day ahead of time and store it, combined, in the fridge until the next day. Just bring it to room temperature before baking it in the pie. tip: I even chop more veggies than I need and use them in meals for the following week. I especially find good use for the extra leeks, kale and spinach.  

day of: 

5. Measure all ingredients for the sauce and set aside. They need to be at room temp anyway. 

6. Get out two pots and have them ready on the stove: one really large one for cooking all your veggies and another medium sized one for cooking your sauce. 

If you do these tips, I swear, making this pie is 1,000 times easier. You can even make this entire pie and store it in the freezer unbaked, until you want an impressive dinner on the fly. (see more on this in the baker's note)

Happy Father's Day! Dad, you're the best dad. Really. You taught me to dream big and to believe in myself. You also taught me to love all smoothies and baked goods, including but not limited to: hot blueberry muffins, bran muffins with weird toppings and slightly under-baked cinnamon rolls.  And John, you're the best dad to our sweet boy, I love how much he loves you (even though he still loves me more! ;) I love you both, but this Sunday, don't count on pie. 

Happy weekend to you friends. xo 

chicken + veg pot pie

makes one large, overstuffed 10-inch pie, serving 6-8 people

robyn holland | sweetish.co, inspired by Little Flower Bakery

I include spinach and more peas as extra ingredients to replace the chicken here for you vegetarian friends. These extra portions of veggies actually work really great in the chicken version of the pie too - it just makes for a less saucy pie and a more veg-packed one. In fact, I shot this pie several times and the version you see on here, is just that version: the chicken with extra veg. I honestly love all versions, but the straight up chicken one without the spinach may be my fave just because it feels naughty but still slightly virtuous. The veg-packed one makes me feel like a good green loving lady and the extra veg + chicken one is just the best of both worlds.

bakers notes: When measuring the spinach, I measure it already chopped. To freeze: Freeze the entire pie unbaked without the egg wash, tightly wrapped for up to 3 months. To bake: just take it straight from the freezer and bake at 375°F / 190°C  Keep in mind that when I do this it takes me 2-3 hours to fully bake the pie. I don't know if this is a mountain thing yet, but I end up tenting the pie in foil and continue cooking until filling is bubbly. 

for the crust:
1 recipe of brisée dough

for the veg + chicken filling:
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil, divided (I use butter, but all work great)
2 cups / 190g leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 cups / 335g carrots, peeled and chopped into coins, (tip! I just use organic baby carrots to save time)
2 cups / 355g dutch yellow potatoes, peeled or unpeeled (I left my skins on) and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups / 354ml chicken or veggie stock or water, room temperature (or a little more or a little less, see note in method)
2 cups / 76g  lacinato (dino) kale, stalks removed, cut into thin-ish, bite-sized strips
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, just the leaves not woodsy parts, chopped
2 heaping cups / 105g fresh spinach, chopped finely (think confetti) OPTIONAL see bakers note above!!
1 ½ cups / 225g peas, fresh or frozen (I used frozen) *if making this pie a vegetarian version, add one more ½ cup / 70g of peas*
2 cups / 455g / 1 lb (about 1 large breast) roasted chicken, skin and bone removed, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, more to garnish (optional)

for the sauce:
½ cup (85g) + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all purpose flour
¼ cup (55g) + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups / 350ml whole milk, room temperature
1 ½ cups / 350ml  chicken or veggie stock, room temperature
5-8 springs of fresh thyme
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste if you think it needs a little more or less)
fresh black pepper to taste

 

In a large pot on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon butter (or fat of choice) and fry leeks until a they turn a slight golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Add carrots, potatoes ½ teaspoon-ish of kosher salt and stir until the veggies are coated in the leeks and butter. Turn heat to a medium/low heat. Add 1 to 1 ½ cups of chicken/veggie stock or water and continue to cook veggies until they have absorbed all of the liquid and potatoes are soft but not falling apart, and carrots are soft-ish, but still have a bite, about 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. note! It's super dry here in Utah, so I use all of the 1 ½ cups of liquid to get these results, but there's no shame in adding a little less liquid or a little more liquid if that's what it takes to get your veg right.  

As your veggies soften, make the sauce. 

In a medium size dutch-oven like pot over low-medium heat, melt your butter. Once butter has melted and bubbled slightly, whisk in the flour until the flour has absorbed all the butter. Still whisking, cook the flour + butter for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

In a steady stream, pour the room temperature milk into the flour + butter paste whisking constantly. The flour and butter should soak up the milk like a sponge and it will be a little lumpy. Immediately after the milk has been soaked up, add your chicken or veggie stock in a steady stream. Add your sprigs of thyme. Still whisking constantly and reduce heat to low and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens - about 1-3 minutes. You'll know the sauce is ready if you dip a spoon in it, draw your finger across the back of it and it leaves a line. When sauce is done, fish out sprigs of thyme. Add salt to taste. Set aside. 

After the carrots + potatoes have absorbed the liquid, add 1 tablespoon of butter, kale and thyme + parsley. Add pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes. If adding the optional spinach, add it now. If you added spinach - add another tiny pinch of salt and cook it with the kale for 1-2 minutes. 

Add peas and chopped chicken.

Add your beautiful sauce to this huge pot of veggies and gently stir until combined. Set aside. 

 

Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C and place a large sheet pan on the middle wrack to get hot. 

Take out your two disks of chilled brisée dough. Flour a clean surface and roll each disk into a 12-inch circle at about ⅜-inch thick. (It can be a little thinner than this too, don't stress. Also if you're finding that it's a little difficult to roll out, let it sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes or so. It will warm up as you roll it.) 

Press one dough circle into an 10-inch pie tin, trimming the excess dough. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes while you roll out the other disk. 

Fill the pie with your filling. The filling comes very high out of the pie tin - create a dome out of it and gently lay the other 12-inch circle of dough over it. Cut excess dough and pinch the bottom and top dough pieces together and cut 3-4 slits in the top to let out the steam. 

Liberally brush the pie with one beaten egg using a pastry brush and top with flaky sea salt (or kosher salt) and freshly cracked black pepper. Without taking it out of the oven, place the pie on the hot sheet pan in the oven to bake. This ensures that our bottom crust wont be soggy. 

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cooking time depends on the heat of your filling and your oven. Filling should be bubbly and crust should be a deep golden brown. When you can smell it baking, it usually means it's close to ready. 

Serve warm and congratulations! You made an amazing pie!! xo