Last month we started playing around with proportions for the sake of our charming Small Pie Baker – a miniature version of our standard pie dish. The premise was simple enough: how do classic pie recipes break-down for use with the Small Baker?
The results our last experiment yielded were both simple and delicious. One standard pie crust recipe makes enough crust for four of our Small Pie Bakers. That’s four Mixed Berry Pies prime for consumption!
But what about all of the other tender, buttery crusts out there? After all, pies come in all sorts of shells and we firmly believe our Small Pie Baker is perfect for dishing up all variety of pie.
So we set out for another test run in our Petite Pie Series, this time going for a more savory standby: Chicken Pot Pie.
Filled to the brim with ooey-gooey, stick-to-your-ribs creamed chicken, a gravy-like sauce, and bright garden vegetables, this pie has a lot to offer. But how to crown this king of comfort foods?
The answer appeared to us from the frosty hollows of the frozen food section: puff pastry!
If you’ve never worked with puff pastry before, the frozen variety is definitely the way to go. It is extremely simple to use and almost as delicious as homemade (almost, we said!).
We went with an all-butter variety packaged with one 14 oz. sheet of dough, but there are several varieties to choose from. Once thawed, our frozen puff pastry provided just enough dough to cover four Small Pie Bakers.
While we did use a rolling pin to squeeze out an extra half inch or so, the pastry was totally unscathed, puffing up to a flaky, golden splendor.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into small cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 ounces flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
- 8 ounces frozen green peas
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining vegetable oil. When heated, add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add butter and allow to melt. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add milk, stirring well. Add in chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and mix in the frozen peas and reserved cooked chicken. Cover and set aside.
- Unwrap thawed puff pastry and lay out on a lightly floured surface. Place Small Pie Bakers top-down on the dough and trace around with a small, sharp knife leaving about ½-inch extra all the way around. If needed, use a rolling pin to gently stretch dough to fit all four bakers.
- Cut four small ¼-inch slits in the center of each pastry round and set aside.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl and mix in water. Set aside.
- Fill each pie baker to the rim with filling (approximately 1.5 cups per dish).
- Brush each circle of puff pastry with the egg wash and place, egg-wash side down, on top of each pie baker.
- Brush the tops of the pastry crusts with the egg wash and set the assembled pies on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Decrease heat to 400° F and bake until the crust is puffy and golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Allow pot pies to cool for around 10 minutes before serving.