Cookery Column – Week 3 – Chicken Pot Pie

Wrriten by 17 May 2013

In this recipe you’ll learn two important basics of French cuisine, even though this is a dish that is normally associated with American cooking. It’s a super simple recipe to make when you have chicken leftovers. I’m going to explain how to make the simplest chicken pot pie.

We start by making a mirepoix. This is a combination of brunoised (small diced) onions, carrots and celery, normally on a 2:1:1 ratio. It is the foundation of many different dishes, and almost every culture has a version of this. For our purposes, do a small dice on 2 onions, 2 carrots and 4 sticks of celery, add to a pan with olive oil, and cook on medium heat until the onions start to brown.

At this point add whatever vegetables you prefer in order of cooking. I like to put in a lot of frozen green peas (roughly a cup and a half), some pre-steamed broccoli, maybe some sauteed mushrooms if you have them, but things like string beans, cauliflower or corn work well too. Add your leftover shredded chicken, give it a quick mix, season and pour it all into a rectangular oven-proof dish.

Now we are going to make gravy, using a roux as a thickening agent. Take a tablespoon of butter and put it in a heavy pan on medium heat until it melts, and let it bubble away. Once the bubbling is done (and never before then) add a tablespoon of flour, and stir it all well until the mixture starts to turn brown (at least a couple of minutes).

Then add, in very small splashes, chicken stock (from a cube is perfectly ok), stirring very well in between, making sure all the liquid is incorporated before adding the next splash. You want to end up with a gravy that is 3:1 chicken stock to milk, so add roughly 2 and 1/3 cups of chicken stock, then add some rosemary/thyme, and finish with 2/3 of a cup of milk.

Stir well until you bring it to a simmer, and then add more stock or milk if needed or let it boil for longer if it’s too thin, but remember that it will thicken as it cools. Taste and season. Once it’s done, pour it on top of your veg-chicken mix, top with some useful frozen puff pastry and place in the oven following the instructions of the manufacturer.

Ingredients

2 onions

2 carrots

4 sticks of celery

Roughly 500 g of a mix of your favourite vegetables

Chicken stock

Milk

Frozen puff pastry

Woody herbs

Leftover chicken

Wrriten by Pablo Aran Terol