Daring Bakers Challenge- Savory Pot Pies

Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

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I meant to post this yesterday, but well, that was spent relaxing after the 10+ hour drive back from Michigan the day before. I've now made my version of a chicken pot pie twice in as many weeks. Technically three times if you count the one that's in my mom's freezer for her and dad to have later this coming winter.

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I will admit, I totally winged this one, filling wise. I used the pie crust recipe provided for the one I made for us and store bought for mom and dad's. So there really isn't a set recipe for my filling, but I can say, it makes enough for TWO 9" pot pies. Yeah. And it's delicious.

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The gist of it is the following-

A 5 cheese (romano, parmesan, sharp cheddar, provolone, mozzarella) sauce- base is a basic roux, then heavy cream, then the cheese, mixed until smooth, seasoned with sea salt, pepper, garlic to taste. To that was added a pound of boneless chicken that was browned in olive oil, steamed broccoli florets, chopped red onions, chopped sauted mushrooms, sliced sauted leeks. And broken up pieces of thick cut applewood bacon. It was all mixed together then scooped into the waiting pie crusts, topped with a second crust, [mostly] sealed and baked at 375 for 45-50 minutes.

It makes enough filling for two pies, so the second can be made, allowed to cool( if the filling is still warm) and wrapped in 2 layers of tinfoil, then plastic wrap and frozen unbaked until you want to have it again.

I think I need to make a couple this weekend, as a matter of fact.}:P




Classic Chicken Pot Pie:
Servings: about 8 (one 9 1/2 inch (24 cm) pie)

Ingredients

Flaky Pie Crust:
3 1/2 cups ( 840 ml)(17 ¼ oz)(490 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (13 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons (9 gm) salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) cold shortening (I always use butter flavored), cut into pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) (6 oz) (170 gm) cold unsalted butter
1 cup (240 ml) ice water

Chicken Pot Pie Filling:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) (1 ½ oz) (45 gm) flour
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (120 ml) half and half (half milk and half cream)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) white wine, light beer or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups (750 ml) (15 oz) (425 gm) cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) (4½ oz) (125 gm) frozen peas, not thawed

Directions:


1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Drop in shortening and quickly grate butter directly into the bowl using a cheese grater.

2. Using your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter, work butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it's broken down into course, chunky crumbs. Stop mixing when the largest crumb is about the size of a pea.

3. Using a fork, quickly stir in very cold ice water. Turn the rough dough and crumbs onto a floured surface.

4. Knead just until dough starts to hold together in a rough mass, up to 10 times. Do not over mix! You will be able to see chunks of butter in the dough and this is a good thing.

5. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before use. The dough will keep in the fridge for a full day, or you may freeze the dough for up to 3 months (and bring back to a thawed chill before rolling).

6. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

7. Heat oil in a wide bottomed skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add onions, celery and salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

8. Meanwhile, make a thick paste by mixing the butter and flour in a small bowl with a fork.

9. Heat 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the butter/flour paste into the stock and whisk vigorously until it come to a simmer. Boil briefly until thick like honey. Whisk in the half and half. Turn off heat, stir in wine, thyme and black pepper.

10. Stir together the cooked vegetables, chicken, peas and sauce.

11. Roll out one half of the chilled dough about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick using a floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface. Once your round of dough is about ten inches (25 cm) across, dust the top with flour, pick the round up from the counter and dust under the dough again before rolling out completely to about 15 inches (38 cm) across. Hold your pie plate up to the round of dough to ensure it is large enough to fit your pie plate.

12. To set the dough into your pie plate, fold the round of dough in half, then in half again to create a large triangle of dough. Point the tip of triangle of dough into the center of the pie plate and unfold. Be careful not to stretch the dough while you ensure that you have the dough tucked into all corners.

13. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell.

14. Roll out the top crust and cover the filling. Trim excess dough and seal the edge crust by folding the top dough layer under the bottom and pinching the dough together with your fingers or pressing with the tines of a fork.

15. Bake in the lower third of your oven until the pastry is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. To ensure the bottom is browned, you may choose to prop an electric oven open using the handle of a wooden spoon for the last ten minutes of the baking time. If at any point you fear the top crust is over-browning, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Serve immediately while warm.


Mediterranean Pizza Pot Pie:
Servings: about 8 (one 10 inch (25 cm)pie)

Ingredients

Tender Pizza Pot Pie Crust:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (¾ oz) (21 gm) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) (7 ½ oz) (210 gm) bread flour, plus more for dusting

Creamy Garlic Gravy:
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1-2/3 oz) (45 ml) butter
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1 oz) (26 gm) flour
1 cup (240 ml) milk (I use 2 percent)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Filling:
2 cups (500 ml) (280gm) (10 oz) cooked chicken, chopped
1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (½ oz) (15 gm) tightly packed fresh spinach leaves, slivered
4 medium-large artichoke hearts, diced
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh oregano leaves
Pinch of salt, black pepper, dried oregano (for topping)

Directions:


1. Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water in a medium bowl. Let it rest several minutes until foamy.

2. Add salt, oil and up to 1 1/2 cups of bread flour, one half cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough picks up most of the flour and pulls together in a wad around the spoon. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

3. Sprinkle the dough with flour and knead for several minutes or until the dough is smooth and not sticking badly to clean hands as you knead (add sprinkles of flour as you knead until the stickiness subsides).

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight or prepare dough in the morning and leave it in the fridge until dinner. An hour before you start prepping the pizza, punch down the dough in the bowl. Leave it in the bowl to rest at room temperature for an hour.

5. Melt your butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle flour over the butter and whisk together. Cook for a short minute as it bubbles, then pour in the milk. Whisk and bring it to boil, then stir in salt, pepper and garlic. Whisk until it’s as thick as honey, which should take about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese. Set aside while you prepare the components for your filling.

6. Preheat the oven to hot 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

7. Lightly grease a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface with flour sprinkled on the top of the dough, so it spreads six inches beyond the edges of your pan on all sides. You will need plenty of flour under the dough and on the top surface to keep it from sticking to itself and the counter. Lay the dough into your pan, without pulling it, so it fits into the pan with the extra dough hanging over the edges. Repair any holes that may have appeared.

8. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic sauce and filling, reserving the salt, pepper and dried oregano for the top of the crust. Pile all of the filling into your pan.

9. Wrap the dough up over the top of the filling. Seal tightly in the middle by pinching the dough together. Using kitchen scissors, snip away any large sections of excess dough. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and dried oregano onto the top of the dough.

10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the lower third of your oven, until the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately while warm.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips: Both of these pies are best made and eaten right away. You may store leftovers in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for a month. Re-heat thawed leftovers covered in foil in the oven until heated through.



Additional Information:
I have not tested any of the following recipes, but I found a few with five star ratings for you. Look around in any online search engine and you will find many ideas for pot pie recipes, though you may have to dig for something outside the classic chicken pie, and many recipes that you find online include only a top crust and are not double crusted.

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-pot-pie-with-biscuit-crust-26846 (biscuit crust chicken pot pie)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/individual-chicken-pot-pie-with-puff-pastry-recipe/index.html (puff pastry chicken pot pie)

http://www.marthastewart.com/317035/lighter-chicken-potpie (filo crust chicken pot pie)

http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-phyllo-pastry-71214 (homemade filo dough)



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