Wednesday, September 10

pictures that have nothing to do with pot pie

I tried three ways to cook and/or freeze chicken pot pie.
  1. I made a fresh one and we baked it the same night.
  2. I put together the filling and froze it, to defrost and put it in a fresh crust before baking.
  3. Finally, put together a whole chicken pot pie to freeze and bake later.
By far and actually the easiest way was to bake a fresh one. I read some reviews that if you freeze the pie dough with the filling it would become soggy during the baking process. It was suggested to use an egg wash to keep a barrier between the filling and the dough. I didn't try the egg wash and didn't experience any sogginess. The problem I found with this method is it just takes too long to bake, an hour and a half. A fresh pie takes 45 minutes. The goal with freezer meals is to have an easy dinner on a work night and provide a lot of left overs. We had to bake the frozen pot pie on a weekend when I could have just spent the time to bake a fresh one. Using frozen filling seemed kinda silly when it really doesn't take anytime to put it together. However, the frozen pot pie and the frozen filling were helpful to avoid having to cook up chicken for this purpose only. So in that respect I would rather defrost the filling, make a fresh pie dough, and bake on a Sunday evening. I get time in the kitchen to bake and then provide 3 easy leftover meals for the week. wah lah!

I used the Toby Shows Chicken Pot Pie filling recipe with a cup each of frozen peas and fresh carrots. And I used the Barefoot Contessa's Pie Crust Recipe (my favorite recipe thus far).

Perfect Pie Crust:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts

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