Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I love chicken pot pies, but it's mostly a memory associated with my childhood - popping a frozen pot pie in the microwave for 4 minutes and then burning my tongue on flaky, buttery crust filled with piping hot chicken and vegetables smothered in gravy.  But somewhere down the road, I found out each one has over 1000 calories in it, and that was that.

Now I'm in Korea.  The weather's getting nippier and burning my tongue on flaky, buttery crust filled with piping hot chicken and vegetables smothered in gravy sounds pretty awesome.  I don't have big, deep pie pans or even small ones, so I used a silicone mini-cupcake mold instead.  It worked out pretty well.

I used several different recipes and some substituting, so I ended up with some leftover filling which I ate with a spoon on top of some old biscuits I had in the freezer.

To get started, you'll need:
1 pound cubed chicken breast
3 cups of frozen vegetables (I used the Normandy Mix from Costco) OR use 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 cup frozen peas, and 1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup onions
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed (I happened to have this.  If you don't, skip it or throw in some garlic powder instead)
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (I boiled the chicken in water and used the remaining water with a few bullion cubes thrown in)
2/3 cup milk

To make the pie crust, I doubled a pie crust recipe from  Just follow the instructions exactly and don't substitute the butter with anything else like margarine, shortening, etc.  This recipe is annoying because you need to refrigerate the dough overnight.  You can use another recipe if you can't wait a day.

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

In a pot, boil your vegetables (except the onions) in some water for about 10-15 minutes until they're cooked.  Don't cook them too long so that the vegetables get soggy and lose color.  Drain the vegetables and set aside.

In another pot, boil your chicken cubes, drain, and set aside.

To make the gravy, cook the onions in butter over medium heat until they're soft and translucent.  Whisk in the flour, salt, black pepper and celery seed.  Slowly add in the chicken broth and then the milk, whisking as you go.  Simmer until the sauce thickens and don't stop whisking until the gravy forms or it'll get lumpy.

Once you have the different components of your pot pie filling ready, it's time to roll out the dough.  Throughout this whole process of working with the pie dough, it's really important that it stays super cold.  I was continuously running to the fridge and re-chilling the dough or keeping dough I wasn't working with in it.  Get your lump of dough and roll it out flat.  Be careful and patient so that it doesn't crumble.  I used parchment paper so the dough wouldn't stick to my surface.  You can get this sold as "baking paper" at some Daisos and E-marts.  I got mine at Star Market at Tower Palace in Daechi-dong.  Cut out squares to form the pie bottom and press them a bit to fit into the cupcake mold.

You can leave the pies open-faced and not make a top crust.  I used leftover dough, rolled it out again and cut circles to make the top crust and cut slits into it to make vents.

Assemble the pie by spooning a small amount of gravy into the pie mold then placing some chicken and vegetables on top.

Then spoon some more gravy on top of the chicken and vegetables.

Cover with the top crust.  Pinch the top and bottom crust together.

Once all the pot pies are assembled, bake them in the oven for 30-35 minutes or golden brown.  Wait 10 minutes after taking them out to eat them.

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