{January 29, 2011}   33 Years In the Kitchen – Week 30

I love chicken pot pie. It’s an American staple. I grew up on Swanson’s frozen chicken pot pie. Even though I had to pick out the peas and carrots, I loved it and was always super excited when Dad was at the fire department and mom declared it chicken pot pie night. As an adult, I can’t eat that stuff anymore. The sodium count alone has me running for cover and don’t even get me started on the over-processed chicken. Yikes.

But…I still crave chicken pot pie. What to do? What to do? I know, I’ll make my own recipe! And I did. I spent a week or so off and on building a chicken pot pie recipe in my head. I ran drafts past friends (the extraordinary RouxBarb and BFF Lauren) and got notes. Good notes. Thanks ladies.

That brings us to tonight. G worked a morning shift, which meant that he’d be home tonight. It also gave me plenty of time to brunch (thanks Mandy) at Parish, grocery shop, read in the sun and spend a goodly chunk of time in the kitchen. It was a labor of love and it was SO worth it. OMG is it good. I mean really, really good. I’m having seconds as I type. I won’t lie to you and say it’s “light” or low-fat and it certainly isn’t a meal I’d have time to make during the week, but I am super happy with this recipe. So happy, that I’ll share it with you.

Here is what it looks like:

Yeah, we couldn't wait to eat, so you get a half eaten photo!

Beth’s Genius Chicken Pot Pie
(yeah, I’m totally modest)

For Sauce:
1 recipe bechamel Sauce (Below)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

For Filling:
3/4 Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
2 large parsnips, sliced into 1/3 inch half moons
1 package fresh french beans, trimmed and halved
1 package pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms
salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

1 sheet puff pastry

Prepare bechamel Sauce according to directions. When it is finished, add 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, pepper and 1 cup chicken stock. Check for seasoning and add more if needed. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add beans, parsnips, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Saute for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until all are tender. Check for seasoning and add more if needed. Turn off heat and add chicken.

Stir together sauce and filling. Pour into baking dish (it will be thick).

Place puff pastry on top of filling. Bake at 350 until brown and bubbly (approx. 40 minutes)

Bechamel Sauce

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a 3 quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, mustard, and salt. Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.


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