Tuesday, January 06, 2009

WFD? Lemon, Chicken & Leek Pot Pies

What's For Dinner? Individual Chicken Leek Pot Pies with Lemon and Tarragon.

It's feels natural to jump on the comfort food bandwagon in January. Enough with the holiday finger food, the bowls of nuts, and elaborate dinner parties; what we need now is a one-pot meal to sink our fork into and forget about how dang cold it is outside. I think you'll find this updated pot pie pretty satisfying.

Although I've been making variations on this dish for my family for a while, I might never have posted the recipe if it wasn't requested by an old friend of mine. OK, maybe 'request' isn't the right word, it was more like an order. In fact I believe her exact comment in response to this post was:

"I want your chicken leek pot pie recipe. I don't like baking, but I like cooking so lets get on with the real food!"

Yes madam! Well, she did used to boss me around something fierce back in the day, so it comes naturally to her. I guess some things never change, eh?
So here you go, Kelly, I've done my part. You better make these now to feed all those bambinos of yours. Trust me, they will thank you for it.

I usually make these in massive batches as they freeze and re-heat wonderfully.
(edit 1) Since we sometimes need 'heat & serve' instant meals (little children's tummies don't understand waiting), I bake these as I normally would for a dinner, then cool them down, wrap them well and freeze for a later date. I re-heat them in the oven to keep the pastry crisp.
(edit 2) I find blanching my garlic alleviates some of the not so fun side effects while maintaining the full flavor that we love around here. However, this is not scientifically proven, just an opinion. I don't do it often, perhaps just when I want to serve the dish to 10-month-old Mateo.

Chicken, Leek and Lemon Pot Pies

About 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
(I prefer dark meat and usually use thighs)
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and de-germed

3 leeks

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine (Optional)

1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dry
(thyme is good, too)
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1/4 cup whipping cream

Salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup green peas, defrosted if frozen

1 recipe pie crust or 450g puff pastry
(my lazy way out, although in the photos I used my usual pie dough.)
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Place garlic in cold water, bring to boil, and boil for a minute or so. Drain and roughly chop. Reserve.

Cut very dark green leaves from leeks and discard. Wash leeks well and slice into 1/2-inch (1-cm) sections (I use about 2/3 of the leek)

Heat butter in skillet on medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes or until leeks soften. Stir in flour and cook until pale gold, about 4 minutes, adding more butter if needed. Stir in chicken stock, white wine if using, tarragon, lemon juice and rind. Bring to boil. Add cream, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy. Season well with salt and pepper.

Stir in green peas and chicken. Place in a 6-cup baking dish or individual baking dishes. Roll out pastry 1/4-inch (5-mm) thick to cover top of dish. Cut a steam hole, decorate with any extra pastry cut in shapes, if desired. Brush with egg.

Bake pies on middle shelf of oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden and mixture bubbles.
I usually set my baking dish or dishes on a cookie sheet as I inevitably get one that overflows.


Michele Humes said...

I want your square ramekins.

I don't understand about the freezing--you freeze the dough and filling separately, or you actually freeze the assembled, cooked pies?

Anonymous said...

This looks really delicious. I usually avoid pot pies because they look heavy, bland and flavorless, but I actually bookmarked this one. I like the lemon, but I love the tarragon!

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh yum. I love chicken pot pie. I made a low fat version from Taste of Home Magazine last weekend--but this looks divine!

Chocolate Shavings said...

Those chicken pot pies look amazing! I live in Montreal too - it's really nice to read from other food lovers in the city!

Anonymous said...

That looks yummy... .I like the idea of buying frozen puff pastry. I usually make biscuit dough and put dollops on top before baking but puff pastry has a more flakey texture. How thin do you roll it?

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect recipe for the chilly weather we've been having!

abigail @ Paper and Cake said...

beautiful! makes me almost want to make some for my family... almost.

real cooking scares me.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how you freeze these as well.

They look really delicious. Lemon is a great addition.

CookiePie said...

Soooo beautiful, and they look so satisfying and delicious!

BellyWoman's Rant said...

I bow my bossy head to you in faux shame. I'm glad you got to "the real food". Those look so good. I think I'll make them this weekend. It really isn't all that much work either. I would like to know, why do you boil the garlic? PLEASE, oh mistress, do tell thy humble servant, why oh why doest thou boil the garlic?( Just for the record, the lovely and fair author has definitely done her fair share of bossing!)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

They look SO good. I love pie! Infact that's the title that I almost posted on Tuesday with a recipe for creamy chicken, bacon and leek pie. Great minds think alike!! Though of course not being the domestic goddess that you are mine were definitely made with shop bought pastry. I'll post it later in the week as it's ready to go. ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I want this for dinner. Or wait - I want this for lunch, so I don't have to wait as much, Aimée!

Maria said...

I love the square individual pies. So cute!!

Anonymous said...

I havent tried this yet - but its on the menu for tommorrow as of right now!

Claudia said...

Beautiful pies. These kind of vegetables-only-potpies are my dad's favorites ever. I remember my mom making them and his face of satisfaction.

You asked about the tapioca, well, it can loose the softness and take a longer time to cook an soften. But you can give it a try.



Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

This sounds like comfort food indeed, Aimée. Beautiful photos too! I'm curious, though. What does boiling the garlic do compared to perhaps sautéing it with the leeks?

test it comm said...

Those chicken pot pies look really good!

LyB said...

I love chicken and leek together, makes for a great soup too. But there's something about breaking into a pot pie's flaky pastry that makes it even more comforting. Looks delicious, Aimée! :)

Culinary Wannabe said...

Thanks for sharing a dish that can be made, frozen and reheated for dinner. I'm all over that since I think we all go through days when we just don't want to cook but want something delicious to eat.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea, to make these in ramekins and freeze them! Easy enough to top them with a square of puff pastry and pop into the oven.

Anonymous said...

Love leeks, love tarragon, love lemon...all ingredients I would include in my last meal on earth. Nice to know I can include them in a regular dinner tonight instead!

Aimée said...

Hi Michele- See 'edit 1'. I freeze the cooked pies.

Hi Fearless Kitchen- I know what you mean. These certainly are not bland!

Hi Blond Duck- Thanks for stopping by. Low fat, we'll we'd have to skip the cream at any rate!

Hi Chocolate Shavings- Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by--it's a short trip since you are in Mtl too. ;)

Hi Mira- About 1/2 inch, I guess. It depends, though. The stuff I get is really fresh and puffs a LOT.

Hi Cyn- Yep, pot pies and soup have been regulars around here.

Hi Abigail- Yes, but we've all seen what you can do with photoshop! That's talent.

Hi Lauren- See 'Edit 1' in the post.

Hi Cookie Pie- Thanks!

Hi Kelly- See 'Edit 2' for the garlic; and for the record, my bossing skills came in pretty handy in the professional kitchen. :)

Hi Amanda- Oh gosh---bacon too! Of course, bacon and leek is one of my favorite tarts.

Hi Patricia- It makes a great reheat, so have it for both.

Hi Maria- Thanks!

Hi high chairs- And how did you enjoy them?

Hi Claudia- Your mom sounds pretty cool.

Hi Terry- See 'edit 2' on the post.

Hi Kevin- Happy New Year! Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Lyb- Gotta have the pastry...

Hi Culinarywannabe- That's exactly what we do with them.

Hi Lydia- You can do it that way too, but I cook the pastry on top of them as usual and then freeze the whole dish so it is ready to serve.

Hi Eugenia- Perfect!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love making these and I always freeze some for a quick dinner. Lovely pictures.

Deborah said...

These are gorgeous, and make me wish I had a bigger freezer so I could have a bunch of them on hand!!

flyingk1w1 said...

Non-recipe related .. I LOVE the name of your blog and the pic is gorgeous!

Recipe related .. I'm making this pie for a very special family in Mexico tomorrow for Mother's Day. They bought a chicken pie last week for the first time (can you believe that? They've never tasted a savoury pie in their lives!). They were raving over it; I thought it was 'ordinary' .. so I offered to make them a full range of pies for their tasting pleasure.
Anyway .. I just wanted to thank you for this delicious sounding recipe and to let you know it's sure to be a hit in Mexico.

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

This looks & sounds incredible. Love the additions of lemon rind & leeks!


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