I have my routines.
I get my oil changed every three months. I get my hair cut every eight weeks. I feed my cat every day at 5pm. I drag my butt to bed every night at midnight. Routines. Structure. It all feels good… like strapping on a bra in the morning. I know I’m good to go. (Totally an analogy I should have kept to myself…)
Also in the catalog of sometimes mundane routines is this PIE. Every three years I make this Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie. Only every three years.
Every three years I over-indulge in this pie and wonder why I don’t make it a part of my more present/pressing/monthly routine…. then I remember all of the onion chopping and carrot slicing and roux making. It’s a process. Worthy, still… but it remains my every three years pie for all of it’s butter cutting and onion chopping. I feel like I savor it more with the years in between.
Can I just say, after slicing my way through most of an onion, I get to the butt end of the onion and I’m like… I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU! WHY ARE WE EVEN DOING THIS!? I begin to question everything. It’s a really weird place to start a cooking endeavor, but it happens to me every time.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Clearly I was meant to work with pastry… not onions.
This pie is rich, creamy, full of Spring vegetables, and tender chicken. The crust is buttery, flakey, and otherwise perfect.
Invite a friend. Share the chopping duties. There’s no reason to freak out about the onion alone. This pie is worth every slice and dice!
Start off by mustering all of your love and tenderness. This recipe has quite a few steps. The end result is worth every chop, sauté, knead, stir, whisk, and roll… for sure. But just to be sure, start by mustering all of your love and tenderness. You can taste it.
I try to make everything in one large sauté pan. I started by cooking the chicken breast in a bit of olive oil in the pan until cooked through.
In the same pan, having removed the chicken, I made a roux. Butter is melted in a pan over medium heat. Flour is added and whisked together is the butter. It’s a thick and goupy process. You’re totally doing it right.
Slowly stream in the chicken broth, whisking away. The flour will ensure that the mixture is thick and luscious. A little chicken stock at a time, followed by a little milk at a time.
Lastly, a bit of cream cheese and seasoning are added.
Once the roux is thick and creamy, I transfer it to a bowl. Chicken is chopped, and vegetables are sautéed.
Once all of the vegetables are chopped, it’s more about layering flavors… that’s totally the fun part for me.
The vegetables aren’t cooked all the way through. It’s ok if there’s a bit of a crunch. Once the vegetables are combined with the chicken and sauce, they’re ready to fully cook inside the buttery crust.
Oh man… this is really getting good!
The crust tuck is everything.
It’s best to if your crust is still a bit chilled while assembling this pie. That can prove challenging after all of the rolling, filling, and topping. I’m learning that keeping a chilled pie crust is also near impossible in New Orleans. Seriously. Just do the best you can. Return the pie crust to the refrigerator if you need to.
Let’s talk about the crust tuck.
The bottom and top crust are trimmed, leaving about 1-inch over crust overhand. Holding the bottom and top crust together, fold the two under, tucking it into the glass pie plate. This will seal in all of the pie good-times.
Crimp the edges with a finger, fork, or just leave it be.
Lightly brushed with egg for browning. Beaten egg is like tanning lotion for pie. FOOL PROOF ANALOGY!
The pie is baked until the crust is golden brown and the insides bubble a bit. Set a timer. You don’t want to go on instinct after all the work of chopping, rolling, sautéing and crimping.
Warm from the oven. May I suggest you eat this for three days straight. Somehow on the fourth day you’ll miss it when it’s gone. The same can not be said for lentil soup… just saying.
Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie
makes 1 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup whole milk
2 ounces cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cubed chicken meat (I cooked two chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 cup thinly diced carrots
1 cup diced fresh green beans
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the filling, start by dicing the onion, garlic, carrots, green beans, and thawing the frozen peas. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in the flour. Mixture will be very thick. Heat for 1 minute. Turn flame to low and slowly add the chicken stock. Whisk until no flour bits remain. Whisk in the milk and add the cream cheese. Heat over medium low heat, stirring often, until cream cheese has melted and the mixture is the consistency of warm, thick pudding. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture from heat and spoon into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil, if using). Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for one minute more. Add carrots, green beans, and peas. Cook for about 5 minutes. The vegetables will not be entirely cooked through. That’s ok! Remove from heat and stir in cooked, cubed chicken. Stir the mixture to the sauce. Stir to combine. Set aside and allow the filling to cool slightly.
To assemble the pie, remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. The circle won’t be perfect, that’s ok. Try not to get any tears in the rolled out dough, but if you do, they can be patched together with extra dough. When you roll the dough and you can see it start springing back, that means that the butter is warming and the crust shouldn’t be rolled out anymore. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, moving the dough across the floured surface every once in a while, and creating a roughly 13-inch circle.
Spoon the filling into the bottom pie crust.
Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the filling in the pie dish. With a small knife, trim the crust, leaving about 1-inch overhang. With your fingers press the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg and place in the fridge to chill while the oven preheats.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place pie in the oven bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hours before serving. Place covered in the fridge to store. Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.