Monday, February 27, 2012

#192 Comfort Food -a la carte Pot Pies

A lobster pie from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook inspired me to come up this one. My daughters gifted me a set of coookbooks last Christmas and this one caught my attention. While Ina Garten used chopped fennel, fish stock, whole baby onions and cubed lobster meat in her Lobster Pot pie, I've used the vegetables like carrots, peas, zuchini and spanish onions in chicken broth with a touch of cornstarch and cream. Then the family got to pick their choice of cooked chicken or pan fried fish in their pot pies.
Comfort can often mean Individual Chicken Pot Pies with a hint of curry Masala. No matter what you say, curry does bring me a little comfort :) Chicken Pot Pie is a budget-friendly take on a classic American recipe with chicken, veggies and thick creamy homemade white sauce covered by a flaky crust
which my sweetie pies N and V loved when they were very young.  Even the husband R licks his fingers after emptying his individual pie.  The name 'pot pie' says something warm, brings back memories of layers of pastry with crusty brown tops over creamy vegetables and chunks of chicken floating in
thick broth. I stood back in amazement just watching the glorious crowns of puff pastry adorned with brown colored flecks. I had a bit of a disaster overcooking the chicken, but it still worked well with the delicate fish.

The best part is the childish glee and excitement you feel when you pierce the top with a spoon and dig
deep into the bottom of the urn to get to the vegetables and chunks of meat drowning in the creamy goodness beneath. Mind you the crust may fall off as you go deeper, not that it matters! Before you know it, you are bound to dunk the soft pastry in the juices until its luscious crunchiness becomes heavily
loaded with all the deep flavors from the herbs and gravy within. Since we all equally love more filling than crust I literally made it in individual soup toureens, but you can always make it in a pie plate if you'd like or in  a pyrex dish-- that's what makes it so versatile and fun.

Boneless chicken thighs- 1 cup
Fish cubes(tilapia)- 1 cup
Vegetables I used are a 1/4 cup each of cubed onions, carrots, zuchini, celery, green peas
Curry Powder- 1 tspn
Chopped Parsley- 1/2 cup
Puff pastry sheets-1 large sheet
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chicken Broth- 3 cups
Cornstarch- 1Tblspn
Heavy cream- 1/3 cup
Olive oil- 1 Tblspn
1.Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add onion and pepper,
Cook stirring constantly adding celery, carrots and add the broth.
2. Add green peas and cook well together. Mix the cream with curry powder, cornstarch and stir well.
3. Add to the broth mixture and let thicken well keep aside.
4. Cook chicken cubes and fish cubes separately. Assign individual soup bowls for each serving, if you go a la carte.
5. Add the fish cubes and chicken cubes in the dishes and mark the colors.
6. Then ladle the broth and vegetables over the meat into the dishes and top with chopped parsley.
7. Spread the pre-prepared pastry sheets on a cutting board and cut squares or circles to fit around the rim and cover around the baking dishes. Cover well, pin and fold in the sides to seal.
8. Using a little egg wash(beat an egg with 1 tspn water) brush the tops and sides of the pastry.
9. Place the dishes on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the pastry
is browned and cooked well. Remove, cool for  a bit before serving.  Watch out..the broth inside the pastry is steaming hot when it comes out of the oven.


  1. oh i love serving things individually like this. The pies look amazing! So hearty and delicious and comforting!

  2. Many thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Is one of my favourite.

  3. My hubby loves chicken pot pie...and I need to make these before the weather gets too warm! Love your individual servings...and the pastry topping is PERFECT!!!

  4. Malli,I love chicken pot pie and yours looks gorgeous!


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