I used Sorted Food's Chicken Pot Pie recipe as a reference in making this dish. The changes I made were as follows:
- I used chicken pieces with a good amount of meat to make it economical. It is not necessary to use an entire chicken if you are serving fewer people.
- I eliminated wine from the chicken stock because I don't consume alcohol.
- Cream and butter were also cut out, and substituted with Country Crock Vegetable Spread, from the white sauce to reduce the number of calories from fat.
- I used organic whole wheat pastry flour to make the pastry coating instead of using the cheat and using pastry made from refined flour.
- Chicken pieces (with bones or without), 8-10
- Baby carrots, 7-8, cut once along the middle in halves
- Salt, a generous pinch
- Bay leaves, 2 large
- Pepper corns, 6-7
- Cloves, 4-5
- Cinnamon bark, about an inch
- Onion, medium sized, cut in half
- Country Crock vegetable spread, 1 cup
- White whole wheat flour, 1 cup
- Chicken stock prepared earlier
- Shredded chicken from the chicken pieces used to make stock
- Chopped carrot pieces from the boiled carrots remaining from stock
- Sliced garlic, 4 cloves
- Green bell peppers, 1 large, chopped in chunks
- Milk, 1/2 cup
- Black pepper powder
- Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
Pot Pie Crust:
- Organic whole wheat pastry flour, 2 cups
- Butter, 8 tablespoons
- Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
- Ice water, 7 tablespoons
- Ramekins or pie dishes
- Egg wash (1 large egg, beaten)
- Glazing brush
- Basil leaves, dried and crushed
PREPARING CHICKEN STOCK
- To a large cooking pot add the chicken pieces, baby carrots, salt, bay leaves, pepper corns, cloves, and cinnamon bark.
- Submerge all contents in water and set to boil.
- Boil until 2 cups stock remains.
- Strain the stock and collect in a bowl.
- Remove whole spices: bay leaves, pepper corns, cloves, and cinnamon bark, and discard
PREPARING PASTRY DOUGHPastry has a 1/2 hour resting time in the fridge so you might want to make it while the chicken stock boils and when it is resting for half hour you can make the white sauce and chicken filling.
- In a large mixing bowl add organic whole wheat pastry flour and salt.
- Cut up butter in chunks and use your hands or a pastry scraper to rub in half the butter first into the flour. The flour should begin looking like cornmeal.
- Add in the remaining half and rub it in as well. The largest lump in the flour mixture should be like flattened pea.
- Sprinkle ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork to start binding the flour into a dough. The dough should begin to hold gently.
- Use your hands to make a ball with the flour like you put together a snowball.
- Wrap the dough with a plastic wrap and toss it in the fridge to rest for half hour.
PREPARING WHITE SAUCE
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt Country Crock vegetable spread on medium heat.
- Add white whole wheat flour gradually, stirring to avoid formation of lumps.
- Add chicken stock and cook on medium heat to dissolves all the lumps and get a custard-like consistency of white sauce.
- Set aside and prepare the filling.
- In a frying pan, saute shredded chicken with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Do a quick taste check. Add bell peppers, sprinkle paprika according to your spice preference, and drizzle lemon juice.
- Once the contents are well sauteed, add them to the white sauce in the saucepan.
- Fold the contents well in with the sauce and cook for about a few minutes on medium heat to make a thick, creamy filling. It should be very thick so it bubbles when baked and not very fluid and runny.
- Check for salt and add in more while cooking.
- Set your oven to preheat at 350°C while you assemble your pies.
- I used 6 ramekins and a small baking dish to make pot pies. Divide the white sauce filling into your serveware of choice and allow it to cool down. Do not fill all the way to the top, leave about half a centimeter empty at the top.
- While the contents are cooling, you can prepare the pastry crust. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry dough flat. Keep it a bit thick to get a flaky crust.
- Use cookie cutters quite larger than the diameter of your ramekins to cut out roundels of pastry.
- Once the contents in the ramekins have cooled, cover the top of the ramekins with the pastry roundels and press down the edges outside the ramekin. This should look like the ramekins wearing chef caps.
- Glaze the dough with egg wash using a brush and sprinkle dried basil leaves all over.
- Set the ramekins on a baking tray and put them into the oven [hopefully it would be preheated by now].
- Now, I recommend not setting a timer and checking every 10 minutes because I started baking at a lower temperature but the whole wheat pastry flour took a while longer and a higher temperature to turn brown and well-cooked. Give it a good 20 minutes at the very least - keep checking every 10 minutes. If the ramekin was not properly covered and sealed with the pastry, some fluid may bubble over. It did happen to me!
- Once ready, the pie crust will be fully browned and will have ballooned up slightly as well.
SERVING SUGGESTION & STORAGE
Enjoy with your choice of side. I recommend some good green salad! Crispy greens drizzled with a tangy vinegarette is what you need to cut through the creamy heaviness of the pot pie. I wrapped the entire ramekin with the crust in aluminum wrap and stored the pot pies in the fridge. The crust and the filling was as good as fresh two days after!
"Abbie's Cafe Thoughtful Words"
Try the recipe out and share the love with me, like I shared with you. And remember! If you know how to cook something, always be willing to share recipes with others! A God-gifted skill of flavors is not yours to take pride in and keep secret!