Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ad Hoc at Home: Chicken Pot Pie

This past weekend we hosted a small group of my wife's friends from business school over for dinner. The same group meets about once a month and rotates through host homes. This being the second time we've hosted, I thought it would be the most obvious time to pick a few recipes from my new copy of Ad Hoc at Home to cook for our guests.

The main course was the Chicken Pot Pie. We started the pie the same day, starting the process (as seen below) around 10am for a 6pm dinner. First off was boiling the "air chilled" organic chicken we picked up from Whole Foods in Lincoln Park the night before:

It doesn't look too great here, but Keller lists no other instruction other than to have 2 cups of cooked chicken meat per pie. Later I took the meat off the bones and shredded it into a bowl to be used later:

The ingredients for the pie crust. A pretty simple crust recipe in the back of the book works for multiple recipes throughout the book. According to Keller, knowing how to make a proper pie crust is essential for a good cook. It's made by combining the salt and flour in a bowl with 1.5" cubes of butter (2.5 sticks worth) and working the butter with your hands until the flour and salt have completely incorporated the butter and there are no butter pieces larger than a pea.

Say hello to Robin

Once the pie crust is made, it's time to start on the filling. I cooked the vegetables, each one separately with 8 peppercorns each as well as bay leaves and thyme (the celery was blanched just briefly). Now, I understand that this method is important, and I assume Keller wants to separate each ingredient so that they don't mix together and form a stew like flavor. I'm sure you could make a few shortcuts here without damaging the final product - the carrots and potatoes, for example, could probably cook together. But, I did as TK told me to do!:

                                                             Blancing the celery gave it a really nice green color.

I then worked on the bechamel sauce. This was time consuming, but worth it. It reduces for about 40-45 min before you pour the sauce on top of the ingredients. It was so heavy that it really didn't mix with the crust at all and the crust wasn't made soggy:

After pouring the bechamel over the vegetables and chicken, we sealed the pies and brushed milk on top in order to brown them. (Keller calls for butter, but I was told milk and butter act the same way):

Here they are just out of the oven:

And here is the final product:


The verdict

This is one great chicken pot pie. Fresh, buttery crust, but somewhat light...it was great. We served with some peas to give the plate a little color, otherwise the pie works by itself. This took a good amount of cooking and time, but we made two pies to make sure we had enough food, and I've been having leftovers since. This is a great recipe to make on a Sunday for dinner and to save for lunches for the rest of the week.


  1. Lovely looking chicken pot pie, a favorite meal around our house. I look so forward to trying your recipe.
    How does it freeze? If I was to double the batch and make extra would it freeze okay do you think?

  2. OMG! i love chicken pot pie, and this look amaizing!

  3. You made such a big effort to these pies and I can tell that it was worth it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...