We are big fans of pies, sweet or savory. It’s one of the regular answers I get when I ask what should I do for dinner tonight. Usually I make a big pie and freeze the leftovers. But this time I decided to make Double crust chicken pot pies but on individual portions i.e. 2 smaller size pies. My plan was to remove them from the pie dish and serve it with gravy – that didn’t work! I realised that I would destroy the pie trying to remove it and they looked so nice as they were. And in my head this would be individual portions – again, wrong!!! My individual pie dishes were still too big and the boyfriend ended up having leftover pie for lunch the day after…
There’s quite a few theories about the origins of pot pie… some say it dates back from the Romans while others say it was a favourite meal during the Middle Ages. But more important than the origins is the reason why it became popular particularly among the peasantry. The peasants modified the pie’s ingredients to include leftover meat. Baking it all together inside a pie crust made for a very filling meal for a large family.
The pie we know today has its roots in Northern Europe. In these areas, butter and lard were the fats of choice and allow the creation of a pastry that could be rolled and moulded – and so the true pie was born. The filling was still mainly made of leftover meats and it could be pork, chicken, game, beef, vegetables, etc.
In the UK, chicken pie is a favourite dish in any pub or household. Nothing like a comforting piece of pie to warm you up during a rainy and cold day!!!
Double crust chicken pot pies
- 1 pack of ready-made short crust pastry
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 60 g cream cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cubed chicken meat I cooked two chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1 cup thinly diced carrots
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven - 200C / 400F
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in the flour and heat for 1 min.
- Turn the flame to low and slowly add the chicken stock. Whisk until no flour bits remain.
- Whisk in the milk and add the cream cheese. Heat over medium low heat, stirring often, until cream cheese has melted and the mixture is the consistency of warm, thick pudding.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture from heat and transfer into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil, if using).
- Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 min.
- Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 min more.
- Add the carrots and peas. Cook for about 5 min. The vegetables will not be entirely cooked through but that’s ok!
- Remove from heat and stir in the chicken. Add this mixture to the previously prepared sauce.
- Stir to combine. Set aside and allow the filling to cool slightly.
- To assemble the pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out an cut into discs big enough to over the pie tins. Gently lift one of the discs from the floured surface and center in a deep round pie dish.
- Spoon the filling on top of the dough.
- Carefully remove another dough disc from the work surface and drape over the filling in the pie dish. With a small knife, trim the crust, leaving about 2cm overhang.
- With your fingers press the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg.
- Place pie in the oven and bake for 10 min.
- Reduce the oven heat to 190C/375F and bake for 15 to 20 more mins, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.