Individual Chicken Pot Pies

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Have I told you about my love affair with pie dough? We go way back. In fact, I look for ways to have more pie dough in my life. What’s not to love? It’s the crowning glory of  pie! Or it should be anyway. I’ve tasted many pie crusts in my time, and some certainly are not affair worthy.  If you’re going to have a long love affair with pie crust, it has to be worth every bite. Every single bite should make your eyes roll back in your head and make you think it could possibly be the best thing you’ve had in a long, long, time.

I thought I would have to break off my love affair with pie dough when I went gluten-free. It was a sad, sad, day. However, once I started to learn about cooking gluten-free (and dairy free), I realized that there would be no need for me to say goodbye to my favorite foods.  I started experimenting with my mother in law’s pie dough recipe (from her mom), and after a few tries…ta daaaaa! Gluten free pie dough for any occasion. I love it when that happens.

In case I haven’t already said this at least 10 times in my last ten posts, it’s been raining here. Hard. Cloudy, gray, windy, monsoon, tornado, crazy kind of rain. We are all desperate for some sun. We live on the east side of the Cascades. Meaning, Seattle is supposed to get this much rain, not us. With the weather being like this, I just can’t bring myself to cook spring dishes, just yet. I’ve been craving pie crust (who doesn’t?) and figured that chicken pot pies would be a nice, cozy, meal that would go very well with our current weather pattern.

Chicken pot pies, especially individual ones, are a weekend meal or a meal made for a day where you really don’t have much planned. There are a lot of steps, and your kitchen will look like a tornado hit it because at the end, all of the steps come together at once. But fear not, it will all be worth it.

Because there are so many steps, I didn’t take a lot pictures along the way and I didn’t write a lot of things down… I don’t measure much unless I’m baking, but I will try to give you the basics of what I did. I very, very, loosely followed The Farm House Cookbook’s recipe for Chicken Pot Pie With Thyme Crust. Her recipe has a gazillion additions and steps which I did not follow. I took a lot of shortcuts but I did use it for “basic” knowledge on how to make everything come together to create a great pot pie. Her recipe also calls for hard-boiled eggs…for some reason I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. Yuck.

The pie dough recipe is HERE and it does have exact measurements. It also needs to be made the day before or at least a minimum of 6 hours before you want to roll it out so it gets a good chill.

I also baked a whole, organic, chicken the day before to use in the pot pies. If you’re pressed for time, you can bake chicken breasts, or buy a rotisserie chicken from your local grocer. However…I will honestly tell you, nothing tastes the same as a freshly baked, organic, chicken. If you have the time, it’s worth it.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

1 Full Batch of Gluten Free Pie Dough ( I had enough left over to do a small tray of cinnamon and sugar crusts for dessert)

About 4 1/2 Cups Gluten Free, Organic, Chicken Stock

2 Bay Leaves

A Sprinkle of  Whole Peppercorns

About 4 Tablespoons Dairy Free Butter

About 2 Tablespoons Mama’s All Almond All Purpose Blend Flour

About 1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Creamer

Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

About 6 Baby Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed

1 Medium Organic Onion, diced

2 Organic Ribs of Celery, sliced down the middle and diced

4 Cloves of Organic Garlic, minced

About 1 Tablespoon Organic Sage leaves, chopped

About 1 1/2 Tablespoons Organic Thyme, chopped

About 1/2 Tablespoon Organic Rosemary, chopped

About 3 1/2 Cups Cooked Organic Chicken, cubed

1 Small Bag of Organic Frozen Vegetables (mine had corn, peas, carrots, & green beans)

1 egg, whisked to brush over top crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

This recipe makes 4 somewhat large, individual pot pies, or 1 regular size pot pie in about a 9″ pie plate.

1.  Roll out pie dough and line each individual dish. Trim tops and pinch to crimp the sides to the dishes.

2.  Line with parchment and fill with beans to weigh down dough and keep it from shrinking.

3.  Place dishes on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove beans and parchment, bake for another 10 minutes until crust begins  to turn golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.

4.  Combine the chicken stock, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let it infuse for at least 5 minutes. Strain the peppercorns and bay leaves and set the stock aside.

5.  Melt 2 Tablespoons of the dairy free butter in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Whisk in the almond flour and cook until the mixture bubbles, whisking the entire time. Continue cooking, whisking the entire time for about another 2 minutes. It will seize, and then spread out again and turn golden. This goes rather quickly and be careful, you don’t want to burn the rue.

6.  Slowly whisk in the infused chicken stock, whisking constantly until it thickens. Add the non dairy creamer and season to taste with plenty of kosher salt and ground pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

7.  Place a steam basket in a large pan that can be covered and add the cubed potatoes. Steam until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

8.  Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons (maybe a little more) of dairy free butter in a large skillet. Add the diced onions and celery. Saute until onions and celery are tender but slightly aldente, add the chopped garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and cook until heated through.

9.  Add the chopped herbs, cooked chicken, and potatoes. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

10.  On a floured surface, roll out pie dough for the top crusts. Cut, set aside.

11.  Add the thickened stock to the chicken, vegetable, and potato mixture, stir to combine. Taste and season.

12.  Fill each individual dish all the way to the top with the mixture. I didn’t have any remaining when I was finished. I used individual, over-sized, ramekins.

13.  Cover the top of each dish with pie dough. Trim edges and press down around each dish to seal.

14.  Make 2-3 large slits across the top of each dish so that the pies don’t leak through the top dough. They will leak a little around the sides, you just don’t want them leaking on the top because it ruins the pretty look of the pie.

15. Brush the whisked egg over the top of each dish and place them on a baking sheet.

16. Bake for about 40 minutes until the insides are bubbling vigorously and the crust is dry to the touch and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

You can make a yummy little snack with any of the leftover dough: Roll remaining dough onto a piece of parchment. Spread with dairy free butter, sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon, run a knife through it to make strips, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.