Sunday, May 16, 2010

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing excites a dish more than puff pastry.  I almost always have it in my freezer to use when I'm in the mood.  It can turn the simplist dish into something celebratory.  Tonight we dined on an elegantly presented chicken pot pie.

Recipe (serves 2):

1 boneless chicken breast
Chicken stock to cover

2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/3rd of an onion, small dice
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of sherry (optional)

1/2 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Chives, chive flowers, parsley or other herbs for decorating.

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cover chicken breast with stock and bring to a boil.  Lower temperature and simmer for 8-12 minutes.
2.  In a separate pot, saute carrots, celery and onion in oil for 8 minutes or until tender.  (If vegetables get dry, add a little hot chicken stock from the other pot.)  Add garlic and parsley and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl.
3.  In the now empty pot, melt butter and add flour.  Cook on low for 1-2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and whisk in the milk.  Turn on the heat again and cook until it starts to thicken.  Add the nutmeg and vegetables.
4.  Remove the chicken breast and allow to cool until you can cut it safely.  Add to the vegetables and cream sauce.
5.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
6.  Roll out the puff pastry and cut in half (if using two bowls).
7.  Take a small, oven-proof bowls or a larger bowl and brush the beaten egg around the top, outer edge.  Divide the chicken/vegetable mixture in the bowls and cover with the puff pastry.  Brush egg all over the puff pastry, add decorative pieces in a floral or other pattern.  Brush with egg and cut a few holes in the puff pastry.
8.  Place bowls on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

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