The Flakiest

It has a little hat

Last week I received an email from the lovely Sarah of The Brooklyn Nester inviting me to participate in her celebration of National Pie Day. I’m not such a big fan of the sweet stuff, so once I confirmed that a savory submission was okay, I readily agreed.

Generally I rely on good quality all-butter puff pastry or prepared piecrust when I make savory pies, but since the addition of Robo McGee to our family, Mike and I have both been anxious to give homemade pastry dough a spin. Since he’s a little more patient with things like measuring things precisely, we decided that Mike would be in charge of making the dough, while I’d handle the filling.


As it turns out, I had spent some time on Monday making a batch of chicken stock, so I used a pint of that along with a couple of cups of pulled roasted chicken (left over from our last roast bird, which I had frozen and then thawed). A quick inspection of our countertop baskets and refrigerator produce bins turned up a few small potatoes, a leek and a carrot which I needed to use up, so I chopped them and sautéed them in a few tablespoons of butter until soft. I sprinkled a couple of tablespoons of flour over the veggies, stirred it through and let it cook for a few moments to get rid of any raw flour taste, then I added the chicken, stock, a couple of hits of Tabasco and some freshly ground black pepper. When the sauce was thick and the chicken very shreddy, I tasted it to adjust the seasoning, then tossed in a good handful of chopped fresh dill, some chopped chives, and a cup of green peas I had shelled and frozen last summer. With the filling done, I stepped aside and let Mike get to the pastry-making.

pastry making

I had bookmarked Deb’s “pie crust 101” post in November, and after comparing it with a few others we found online and elsewhere, he decided to give it a try. He substituted an equal amount of butter for the shortening the recipe called for, and omitted the sugar since we wanted a savory crust, but other than that he followed the recipe to the letter. The result: silky dough that was incredibly easy to work with, and which baked up brown and incredibly flaky. It had a rich buttery flavor, but wasn’t at all greasy as some crusts I’ve tried have been.

Dinner:  January 22, 2008

In a nutshell, this recipe is a winner – easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious. We spent the rest of the evening brainstorming other things we could put into pies or tarts or bake “en croute.” I guess you could say we’re smitten.

8 thoughts on “The Flakiest

  1. Oooh, that is gorgeous! I have been thinking about pot pies, or at least non-traditional ones since having a wild mushroom one at Cookshop on Friday night. It was baking in a little Staub cocotte, and served with grilled radicchio and I just swooned. I must make one, soon.

  2. Oh my goodness. Chicken pot pies are the thing, aren’t they. My little deli/carryout always sold chicken pot pies on Wednesdays. People would order them like crazy. They were a big hit. But this version makes ours pale by comparison.
    Glad to see you cooking again!

  3. I love chicken pot pie! The crust looks amazing. We haven’t made chicken pot pie in a long time. I think it’s time to dig out the recipe again. The version we make has a buttermilk sage biscuit topping instead of the traditional crust.

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Sarah – thanks for inviting me to play along!

    deb – Thank you SO MUCH for posting the crust recipe. It is seriously good stuff. Also, we must be having cocotte confluence – I’ve been pricing them out for days!

    Mary – thank you!

    melissa – I’m going to recommend you make some soon!

    Chuck – Oooooh, your biscuit topping sounds fantastic, also!

  5. Oh wow that pie looks absolutely DELICIOUS! My favourite photo is the one that shows the inside of the pie – all that colour and chicken, YUM! How I wish I had been around at your house for that meal! 🙂

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