Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicken Pot Pies with Leek & Lemon

I've been flattened by a stomach flu that has left me without energy or appetite, it's pouring rain outside and it's Monday. Ick. Of course I still have a million things begging for my immediate attention, so I hope you will forgive this re-run from the UtHC archives. It's a good one--tasty enough to even tempt my fickle stomach right now. Enjoy!

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 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 a 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!"

I usually make these in massive batches as they freeze and re-heat wonderfully.

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.

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.

Chicken Pot Pies with Leek & Lemon

This is where comfort food meets gourmet. The addition of leeks, which are perhaps the most underestimated winter vegetable, and fresh lemon zest transforms a ho-hum chicken pot pie into something special that will brighten up a cold winter’s evening.

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and de-germed
3 medium leeks
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried, (thyme is good, too)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup green peas, defrosted if frozen
About 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded

450g puff pastry or 1 pre-made pie crust
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 dark green leaves, which are tough, from the leek stalk and discard. Wash leeks well and slice into 1/2-inch (1-cm) sections. Melt butter in a large 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. Reduce heat, stir in cream and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy. Stir in green peas and chicken and season well with salt and pepper.

Pour chicken mixture into a 6-cup baking dish or individual ramekins. Roll out pastry 1/4-inch (5-mm) thick to cover top of dish. Place pastry on top of baking dish and press edges to seal. With a sharp knife, pierce pastry once or twice for a steam hole and brush pastry 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.

Cool slightly before serving to avoid burns!


Jodi said...

Crazy, I was just coming on the site to print this recipe and you reposted it. My kids like it better than traditional pot pies.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I remember the days when chicken pot pie was what I always ordered on the menu.....come to think of it I am still always ordering chicken in one form or another..

Peter M said...

I'm overdue for a chicken pot the individual serving. I might have two, however!

Kelsey B. said...

Feel better Aimee! I love chicken pot pie - great idea!

A. said...

i loved the chicken pot pie that you brought over after I had Meaghan... now I guess i can make it too!! A.xx

Evelyne said...

aw, get bettre Aimee very soon...chicken soup first, then the pie

kimberleyblue said...

Oooh, I think I missed this the first time around and am happy you reposted! Just this weekend I was contemplating making a pot pie – I’ll be trying this next weekend for sure.

I hope you get back on your feet soon. :)

Jan (Family Bites) said...

Chicken pot pies is one of my very favourite foods. So are leeks and lemons so this was made for me, I think.

I was out this weekend trying a new restaurant here in Toronto, and I ordered a chicken pot pie. The worst chicken pot pie I've eaten! The filling was the consistency of runny soup and the crust...oh, don't even get me started! I'm going to make this on the weekend so I can forget what I had last Sunday.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Leeks and pot pies - you really are going to push me out of my comfort zone.

Barbara said...

Hope you feel better soon!

I adore your sqaure pot pie dishes!
Nothing is more comforting than a pot pie!

Debbie said...

Interesting. I love leeks, and often use them, but never thought to add lemon to my chicken pot pie. I'll have to try that next time.

Hey, I have leftover chicken in the fridge right now...

Cheri said...

I for one am glad that you brought this up from the archives.. although not so glad that you had to get sick to do it. :( Next time I make pot pie I am trying this recipe.. because it looks unbelievably delicious. I especially love the individualized portions. You make too many good things, I say. I hope you are feeling better.

Christen Babb said...

Can I tell you how excited I am to try this!!!! I am craving chicken pot pie (uh, 36 weeks pregnant) and this recipe has such a unique twist. YUM!

kimberleyblue said...

How many people would this recipe serve? I have to feed 5 (healthy-eating) adults - I'm thinking I should double it?

Aimée said...

Kim, this generously serves a family of four- with leftovers.
You should be OK with one recipe...

Unknown said...

I was looking for a quick chicken and Leek Pie receipe and found your site on the web, had a look and thought that I just had to try your receipe since we spelt our names the same , absolutely fab, feed my husband and myself and my 4 and 2 year old boys, we kept going back for more, thanks your now on my favourites xxx
Aime'e White Australia

AnneM said...

The taste of this chicken is enhanced with the lemon. So yummy. I want to taste it again.

Yasmine said...

Mmmmmm....I remember chicken pot pies from school - can't get enough of them.

Unknown said...

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