Wednesday, January 14, 2015

His and Hers Chicken Pot Pies

I am a vegetarian. My husband and son are not. I struggle to find ONE meal to satisfy us all and not have to cook everything separately (I hate dishes.). Taco night, for example, is great because I can prepare the toppings for everyone and quickly cook and season real and faux ground beef. Recently, my husband has been requesting those little banquet pot pies to have for lunch. Now that it is cold outside, I have been envious of that dish – so warm and satisfying, with the steam rising up when you break through the crust. And wholesome too – lots of good, filling veggies in there. A recipe for a vegetarian pot pie came across my inbox and so I decided it was time to make a pot pie of my own. Of course, I had to make one for my fellas, too. 

We had some leftover grilled chicken from recent restaurant meals, and it was perfect for this. I have tried every fake meat on the market and for this recipe recommend one of the following: one package of Quorn Naked Cutlets, one bag of Kroger’s Simple Truth Meatless Griller Strips (or the Morningstar Farm strips), or one package of Gardein Chicken Scallopini.

I cobbled together several recipes to get the perfect one, and I wanted to post it here so I can remember how to make it next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. I added soy sauce and nutritional yeast to the filling to give it an extra boost of soul-warming umami. If you don’t have these on hand, no worries.

The recipe that follows is for a DOUBLE BATCH, one with real chicken and one with vegetarian chicken. You can halve the recipe if you want just one or the other, or keep it doubled but use all meat or non- meat and serve an army of carnivores or dirty hippies (though I suppose dirty hippy vegetarians wouldn't be in an army. A peaceful protest perhaps)


4 large carrots, peeled and cubed
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used red potatoes)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
1 ½ tsp sage
1 ½ tsp thyme
1 ½ tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
2 cups cooked vegetarian chick’n strips or cutlets, cubed
1 carton (32 oz.) of vegetarian chicken broth (I used the Imagine brand Vegetrian No-Chicken Broth)
1 cup frozen peas
1 Package of frozen Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm’s, it comes with 2 pieces)

1.  Cook your chicken and chick’n. My chicken was pre-grilled and I used a large sauté pan to brown my chick’n (I used the same pan later to make the roux). Cube and set aside
2.   Boil the carrots and potatoes for about ten minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water to halt the cooking
3.   Bring your chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, cook the onions in the vegetable oil for about three minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to shrink. Add the sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the cooked carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
4.   Divide the vegetable mixture (if you are doing a split recipe, otherwise carry on in the stock pot). Add the chicken and peas.
5.  Next up is the white sauce. Make a roux by melting the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in flour until the mixture bubbles and browns. Whisk the roux into the boiling chicken broth. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in the nutritional yeast and soy sauce. You should have a nice creamy sauce that is recognizably a pot pie sauce. Add this to the vegetable/chicken mixtures.
6.  Put the filling into ramekins or casserole dishes as you wish.  It is enough to fill to overflowing a 1 1 ½ qt. Corningware, so I recommend the 2 qt. sizes if you are doing two big pies.
7.  Top with the puff pastry.  I trimmed off the corners so that it was just to the edge of the dish and used the scraps to make sopapillas.
8.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and puffy.
9.  Sopapilla recipe: toss puff pastry scraps in a cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Re-toss the warm pastries in the cinnamon sugar and top with a drizzle of honey.

No comments: