Today is March 14, Pi Day. I do really like pie, so I could not miss this celebration. I decided to try my hand at a Chicken Pot Pie. Our son has caught the addiction to watching cooking shows on television, and chicken pot pie is a staple on many shows. He has been asking for it ever since, and of course I aim to please.
Everyone has their own twist on Chicken Pot Pie, and I was determined to give it my own twist! I didn’t plan ahead, but I had everything I needed on hand. It’s a benefit of stocking up. From the freezer, I retrieved two sheets of puff pastry, 1-1/2 pounds of chicken tenderloins, a quart of roast turkey stock, and a 1-pound package of frozen Hen of the Woods mushrooms (grifola Frondosa). You may recall all of my mushroom posts from the Fall harvest. From the refrigerator came butter, heavy cream, herbs, celery, carrots, half of a large onion, and snow peas. And, last but not least, from the pantry: dry vermouth, black truffle salt, and black pepper.
Preheat the oven on convection bake to 375F. Roll out one of the pastry sheets on a floured surface and place it in a 3-quart deep casserole dish. I used a cast iron Le Creuset. Trim the dough that overlaps the edges. Poke the crust all over with a fork to keep it from puffing up too much. Fill the crust with loosely crumpled aluminum foil to keep it from sagging. Par bake this crust in the heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 5 more minutes to get the inside browned not that it has set.
Put the quart of stock in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium flame until it just comes to a boil. Put the chicken in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl to allow it to cool. It should be just barely cooked through. Continue simmering the stock to reduce it a bit.
In a skillet, heat 5T butter. Add 2 cups sliced carrot, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped onion. Cook until soft. Add 2t truffle salt and 1t black pepper. Add ½ cup minced parsley and 1T chopped thyme leaves. The mushrooms were partially cooked when I froze them, so I slice open the vacuum pouch of thawed mushrooms and stir them in. When the liquid is mostly evaporated, add in ¼ cup dry vermouth. Cook until this is evaporated. Add in the snow peas (I cut the pods in half to make them bite size). Shred the chicken in bite sized pieces and add it in, too. Stir to mix. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add ½ cup heavy cream and reduce to simmer to thicken.
Ladle the mixture into the par-baked crust. Cut the remaining puff pastry into strips, and weave into a lattice to top the pie. Trim the pieces that overlap the casserole. Put the casserole back in the oven until the lattice puffs up and browns.
Happy Pi Day!