for pot pies I usually start it much like chicken soup. saute some carrots, celery, garlic and onion then add my cubed chicken and let it cook through with my veges add some herbs (tarragon, parsly, thyme) add a bit of stock and let it simmer till the vegetables are getting cooked but still a bit of tooth on them then add my slurry of flour and water to thicken it up. At this point you can then make your pie crust and decide if your doing full pies (tops and bottoms) or just a top crust.
Certainly roast chicken is tastier (and legs better than breasts) but i;ve made it with everything, and in a regular home you may not want to buy a roast chicken and also some chicken for broth - so i get some chicken legs, and cook in water till the meat comes off easily and then remove from the bones and throw the bones back in. (Anyway, how much meat do you get left over on a roast chicken ? not much!)
I like to use celery, carrot, onion, sauteed in butter, sometimes i sautee some mushrooms too. I add flour and let it cook a little, then off the heat add the chicken broth and cook. I think corn is a wonderful addition - it gives some crunch and sweetness - and i always add some frozen peas (i don;t cook them first, just add them frozen at the end. Sometimes i put a little cream with the broth.
I always use a biscuit crust, though sometimes i've made a cornbread crust and that is really nice too. Sometimes a biscuit crust with fresh herbs (parsley and chive, maybe a little thyme)
Chicken pot pie is one of the dishes I do resulting from stock making.
When making chicken stock I use the disjointed birds. After about 40 minutes I pull the pieces, strip off the now poached chicken, and return the bones to the pot. The poached chicken is then used for all sorts of dishes, pot pie being one of them.
I usually include carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, corn, and peas in my pot pies, with a cornmeal pastry top crust only. Althernatively, leave out the potatoes and make a cottage-pie crust (i.e., a ring of mashed potatoes) instead.
Using the parts left over from a roasted chicken is the usual way to go for most of us. But using up some chicken or turkey hiding in the freezer will work just fine. I also agree to peas and potatoes. Either biscuit or pie crust...never tried a cornmeal crust though.
I love pot pies. I like using any kind of leftover chicken I've got. I'm kinda goofy though, I don't like boiled chicken for anything. I'll brown it up in one way or another, along with whatever else I'm doing. I know that I'll be considered a heathen for this, but I like using pre-made flaky biscuits for the crusts. I roll one out to a 9-inch disc and it fits perfectly in an onion soup bowl. I then cover the bowl with a second biscuit. I've also found that I prefer using corn starch instead of flour. I dump a spoonful into an empty Gatorade bottle with 2 cups stock. I shake the bageebies out of it to mix with no lumps. Pre-packaged frozen vegetables have worked very well for me, both for their freshness and that they don't take any extra time to get them nicely soft. Anyway, I love pot pies.
I had some lobster and a package of puff pastry left over from a recent dinner party, so I scrounged in the freezer, found some more odds n ends of seafood, and made a seafood pot pie. Even better than chicken.
I use a variation on KY Heirloomer's theme. I roast the chicken (biggest one I can find). We have one meal. (Will have been brined and lots of herbs used in roasting.)
I take all the rest of the bird and immediately put it in water w/veggies salt & pepper (yes I salt my broth). After a while, strip the meat, save it, return bones to pot, discard skin and continue to simmer stock until it reduces a bit.
I have cooked chicken which was roasted first and definitely has more flavor, plus good stock for making that white sauce for the pot pie, one of my favorites, btw. I used to make pie crust, but now days I make more of a biscuit crust -just not as much liquid as if I wanted high, light biscuits. I use self-rising flour and it makes a thick crust without being too heavy, imo. Roll it out, incorporating more flour as you do so. Same thing for topping. I DO brush the inside of the crust with some egg white to prevent it's becoming soggy. Probably not the way a gourmet would do it, but it is fast and easy for me. We get roasted chicken once, and then all the goodies that come from leftovers.
I've always wanted to try making a pot pie but I'm scared of pie crusts. I like IceMan's idea of using premade flaky biscuits for the crusts. Alternatively can I use puff pastry for both the bottom and top layer of the pot pie? If so do I have to poke holes in it? I'm getting mighty hungry for this comfort food.
I love poached chicken so much, but only when it's hot and straight off the bone straight out of the pot. Once it cools I turn my nose up at it so I imagine I would be using boneless thighs and stewing them a bit first when making the pot pie.
I make like Siduri does only I use roast or poached chix. But unlike many places today, I put a bottom and top crust. Simply putting a piece of baked puff pastry on top to me is not a pot pie.. Why not use crumpled Ritz crackers and brown it?
Hey Koukouvagia, I'm not saying this happens every time to everyone, I'm saying this happens to me every time. If I don't fork the bageebies out of a puff pastry crust, it balloons up and wipes out whatever I'm making with it. It's really a funny thing too, right up to the time when I gotta clean out the oven.
If you must have a bottom crust, shortcrust pastry blind baked is the way to go. You don't have to necessarily do the whole hog by lining it with greaseproof (parchment?) paper and fill that with rice. You can grease the container, put the shortcrust in with a bit overhanging to allow for shrinkage. Then pierce the base with a fork pretty thoroughly and evenly. Bake for usual time then remove from oven. Allow to cool. (I'm pretty sure this technique is called barding).
In goes the cold filling for the pot pie. Moisten the edges of the shortcrust base and top with puff pastry, cut a bit of a vent to allow steam to escape. Either use eggwash or milk brushed over the top, and follow the recipe for cooking time.
Come to think of it I have used puff pastry for a top and bottom layer of a beef and guiness pie and it worked out just fine. Last year I experimented and made a shortcrust pastry for a meat pie using crisco and although the flaky texture was perfect the bottom layer came out too thick because I didn't know how to roll it out and transfer it to the pan properly, and also it tasted like... well it tasted like crisco.
Has anyone ever made a pie crust with oil? I know it's a technique that certain women use, I might research that a bit and give it a go. It's time I got over my phobia of pie crusts.
We have a very similar dish, but it's always puff pastry and in small individual portions. It's called "vol-au-vent" or "bouchée à la Reine". It's a very old classic!
The crust is baked seperately from a 3-4 inch wide circle of puff pastry covered with a ring of pastry. These can be bought from most artisanal bakeries on demand. Once the filling is done, it's poured into the crust and put in the oven to heat.
The filling is mostly made with poached chickenmeat in a velouté made of a roux and the chickenstock and cream and some lemonjuice is elementary. There will always be mushrooms in it too and small poached meatballs made from veal. Real chefs top this off with a spoonful of Hollandaise.