By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional
After a long afternoon of playing in the snow with the kids, hot comfort foods are what this chef recommends. Flaky pastry that wraps around meat and vegetables in a creamy sauce, seems to appeal to just about everyone, young and old.
Even though, we have lived in Sunny Florida for the past six years, I can still remember what it was like, our last winter in Pennsylvania with the kids. At the height of the season, we had over five feet of snow on the ground. Talk about a nightmare for Danny and I….but the kids loved the fact that we had carved a tunnel in the snow, going from the front door to the side gate.
Being the first, real winter with snow that the kids had ever experienced made it somewhat tolerable for us. Danny would bundle up the kids in so many layers, that you couldn’t tell which child was which, and spend hours building snowmen and having snowball fights. All the while, I was inside baking goodies and making hot chocolate to fill their bellies and warm them up when they came inside for the day.
- 1 Whole Roasted Chicken, Shredded (available already cooked from most grocery stores)
- 1 Box Puff Pastry Sheets
- 3 Stalks Celery, Sliced Thin
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped Medium
- 1 Bag Baby Carrots
- 1 Can French Onion Soup
- 1/4 Cup Whole Milk, Cold
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shaved
- 3 Tbs. Butter, Salted
- 2 Tbs. Corn Starch
- 1 Tbs. Mesquite Seasoning
- 2 Tbs. Paprika
- 2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
- 2 Dashes Liquid Smoke
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, melt your butter over medium-high heat. Add your baby carrots, sliced celery, chopped onion, spices and Liquid Smoke. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until your carrots have reached the al dente stage (about half way done with a slight crunch still).
- Next, add your shredded chicken, your can of French Onion soup and heavy cream. Bring to a low boil.
- While your meat and vegetable filling is coming up to temperature, add your whole milk and corn starch to a small glass. Mix together well with a spoon until you have a smooth slurry. Cooking Tip: Using a corn starch slurry is a great way to thicken sauces with out the worry of lumps forming.
- Once your filling has come to a low boil, add your corn starch slurry and mix until combined. Cook until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature for about 10 minute. (You don’t want the mixture to be hot when you add it to the crust as your crust won’t cook correctly.
- Now, there are two ways you can prepare your pot pie(s). You can either use a large, rectangular baking dish or a muffin pan for individual pot pies. If you are going to make individual pies, then you want to unfold your puff pastry dough onto a cutting board and use a small plate to cut out pieces that are slightly larger than the size of each muffin cup. Place your dough into the muffin pan with the excess coming over the top of the pan, fill each cup with your filling, sprinkle a little of each cheese over the filling and fold the excess dough over the top of each cup.
- For a large pot pie, pour your pie filling into your baking dish (there is no bottom crust), sprinkle your cheeses evenly across the top and then cover completely with your sheets of puff pastry.
- Finally, place your pot pie into the oven on the center rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until your pastry has risen slightly and turned a golden brown.
- Enjoy this amazing pot pie with friends and family the next time you are in the mood for a hearty, comforting meal.