Friday, August 8, 2008

Mini Chicken Pies for the Guys

Some good friends of my husband just returned from Prague, and we spontaneously invited them over for dinner last night to share their adventures. Just one little catch - we are well overdue for a grocery run, and I had no food in the house. Pesky little details...

Fortunately, a quick survey of the fridge revealed some leftover roast chicken, and some frantic digging through the freezer produced a bag of frozen peas and carrots and some long neglected puff pastry sheets. Voila - mini chicken pot pies. Fast, simple, and I could even knock it off as "comfort American food" to welcome them home to the States. Success!


4 tablespoons butter
4 spoonfuls flour
small carton of heavy cream
chicken stock
shredded leftover chicken (about 4 thighs worth)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bag frozen peas and carrots
1 puff pastry sheet
1 egg
strong grainy (or dijon) mustard (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make a rue. I find that the secret to a good rue is to melt the butter first on low to medium heat, then whisk in small amounts of flour at a time. This way you can control any lumpage.

Gradually add about half a cup of chicken stock to the rue, slowly whisking the stock in. Then do the same with an equal amount of cream. I then alternated between the stock and the cream until the gravy came to a consistency that was thick but fluid, using maybe a cup of each.

Take your gravy off the heat. With a wooden spoon, fold in the onion, vegtables, and chicken, combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if you're fanatical about grainy mustard like me, a heaping spoonful of grainy mustard (I think dijon would work well too). If I had thought of it last night, I would have also added some paprika and nutmeg. Set aside.

Whisk the egg with a fork in a small bowl. Set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin, and use a small bowl or cup slightly larger then the opening of a ramekin to press circles into the dough. A circular cookie cutter would have been useful here, but I'm not much a baker and don't have any!

Fill 10 ramekins equally with the chicken mixture, then press a pastry circle over each so that the mixture is sealed inside. Place the ramekins on a foil lined baking sheet.

Brush over each pastry lidded ramekin with the egg wash, and poke a fork once through each. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until pies are golden.

The guys liked the pies, a little too much - they were gone before I was able to snap pictures.

Until next time, Buen Provecho!

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