Perfecting the Pot Pie

With temperatures dropping in much of the country, warm comfort foods are on Chowhounds’ minds. Variations on the simple chicken pot pie abound. Here are some suggestions:

Crust: If using frozen puff pastry, be sure to thaw it and brush with an egg-white wash before cooking. Some hounds make a pie crust from scratch.

Vegetables: Sauté onions, celery, and carrots (garlic is optional) in butter. Potatoes and turnips should be diced and parboiled. Add frozen peas just before baking—there’s no need to cook them beforehand.

Stock: Use fresh, canned, or made from bouillon.

Seasonings: Chowhounds have used salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaf (simmered with the stock), rosemary, and herbes de Provence (not all at once!).

Thickener variations: Cornstarch added to hot stock works. Also try a flour roux made with the sauté (cook to “blond”) or a flour–cold water slurry added to the stock.

Assembly: Add the stock with thickener to the sauté, add parboiled vegetables, and then add the chicken and frozen peas last. Stir and thicken. Pour into the baking vessel, top with pastry, brush with egg-white wash, and cook for about 45 minutes at 350°F.

Board Link: Chicken Pot Pie help

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