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.

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.

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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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