We recently experienced a cool spell, allowing me to escape the grill for a few days and stay inside with my oven. I’ve never really been able to figure out why I like to crank up the oven on a cool summer day, or fire up the grill in the middle of winter…but sometimes you just want a little bit of a change.
At some point during the past few years, chicken pot pie became my favorite comfort food. It’s quite remarkable, really, considering I refused to even try pot pie throughout childhood. I suppose because traditionally a pot pie contains peas (which I can’t bring myself to eat – I keep trying them, and I keep despising them), I simply avoided pot pie for years.
As an adult, it finally occurred to me that I could throw in whatever vegetables I wanted. When I have time, I usually blanche some carrots, green beans, and potatoes, but I have to confess to taking a really big shortcut most of the time: a bag of frozen vegetables. I like the broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix, which gives me a bit of a twist from the standard chicken pot pie. And frankly, this time saver allows me to make this meal whenever I want, especially when I have some cooked chicken hanging out in the fridge.
Chicken Pot Pie for Two
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
salt & pepper
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 bouillon cube
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon half and half
12 ounce bag frozen vegetables
1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
store-bought puff pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with ½ teaspoon water, for egg wash
coarse salt and pepper for garnish
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium-high heat. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sweat the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes until the flour scent is gone, but the color hasn’t yet turned dark. Add the hot chicken broth to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, whisking, until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in half and half. Add the cubed chicken, vegetables, thyme and parsley.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 2 ovenproof bowls*. Cut two squares of puff pastry to fit over the top of the bowls. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3-4 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
*You can make the recipe ahead of time up to this point; cover and refrigerate the bowls up to 48 hours; bake 45-50 minutes until pastry is golden brown.