Ever since my Nana passed away last month, I've taken some time when I've been home (I have been home to New Jersey quite a bit in the last month and a half) to make dinners for my Grandad to freeze, and then heat for dinner.
I started with a roast potatoes and chicken, and my sister made her awesome sheperd's pie, and I knew that I was going to be home for bachelorette party awesomeness this weekend, and so began to plan what I would make.
A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe in what chicken thought was Cook's Illustrated for make ahead chicken pot pies that you freeze. I didn't buy it when I saw it in Barnes and Noble, and then, when I went back to buy it, it was gone! I asked co-workers, and friends, and searched online, and my search was fruitless. So I began to look at chicken pot pie recipes online, and was somewhat dissatisfied with what I found, nothing quite hitting me in the right way.
Then my mother called. She had found the Cook's Illustrated! It wasn't in the regular magazine, it was in a special one devoted to make-ahead food. She had picked one up for me, and I did a happy dance.
Then, when I got home, I looked at the recipe, and it wasn't exactly what I had remembered.... so I created my own recipe anyway.
Chicken Pot Pies
Large soup pot
tinfoil individual serving containers (or ceramic ones, if you're fancy)
two large or three small to medium chicken breasts
rosemary - one sprig
one garlic clove (smashed)
one yellow onion
one rib of celery
one stick of butter
two boxes of frozen vegetables (I used a corn, peas, green bean mix)
1/2 cup of flour
5 cups of chicken broth
Pie dough- either purchased, or a recipe to make a top and bottom crust.
I used a betty crocker recipe here , doubled
fill a medium saucepan with water, add sprig of rosemary, and garlic, and chicken breasts. bring to a gentle simmer, until chicken is cooked through. drain water, and then chop chicken into small bite-sized pieces
Dice onion and celery into small dice. heat large pot, melting 1tbs butter in pot. put in onion and celery, and salt. when onions are translucent, put in rest of butter, then melt. once butter is melted, add flour, stirring regularly, until flour has been lightly browned, and has lost raw flour taste. add vegetables, chicken, and stock, and bring to a simmer. add pepper, and salt, if needed. take off heat and cool to room temp.
Roll out pastry dough, and cut out lid sized pieces.
fill the foil containers with the chicken stew, and then place on pastry lid, and go around the edge of the pastry with a fork, smushing the edge of the pastry into the side of the container.
cut holes in the top of the pastry for venting, wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. and freeze.
when you are ready to have one, preheat oven to 400 degrees. take of plastic wrap, and foil, and place foil on top of pie, loosely. cook for 35 mintues with foil on, remove foil, and cook 30 more minutes. take out of oven, and let sit 10 mintues (otherwise you risk burning the roof of your mouth right off your body)
makes about 5 pies