John's Secrets For The Best Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing says "Family Dinner" more than a prized recipe shared among friends. Here we are including the ultimate comfort food, Chicken Pot Pie, from our dear friend John Henry with whom we have shared countless meals, laughs and glasses of wine. 

John's recipe, below, calls for a dark horse ingredient that adds a special bit of magic to the crust. Not necessary but if you have it lying around - it's a game changer. 

PS: We are thrilled to be in our second month of working at our shared commissary space, Foundation Kitchen (Cheesy photo above!). Lots of beautiful food coming out of ambitious start ups here! 


WHAT'S IN THE BAG?

HALF SHARE

Protein and Dairy - Half Chicken from Feather Brook Farms; Fresh Mozzarella (made today!) from Brookford Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Certified Organic Green Leeks, Bunch of Young Carrots, Green Lettuce from Brookford Farm; Certified Organic Yellow Onions from Freedom Food Farm and Brookford Farm;  Plum Tomatoes from Kimball Farm and Brookford Farm
Grains - Mini Rigatoni from Nella Pasta 
Spice - "Herbes de Romance" (Herbes de Provence) from Curio Spices
Special Treat - Donut holes from Union Square Donuts

Pescatarians only - Sand Dab Sole 

 

WHOLE SHARE

Protein and Dairy - Half Chicken and Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Fresh Mozzarella (made today!) and Basil Gouda from Brookford Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Certified Organic Green Leeks, Bunch of Young Carrots, Green Lettuce, Red Maria Potatoes, Burgundy Beans (start off purple but turn green when you cook them!) from Brookford Farm; Certified Organic Yellow Onions from Freedom Food Farm and Brookford Farm; Plum Tomatoes from Kimball Farm and Brookford Farm
Grains - Mini Rigatoni from Nella Pasta 
Spice- "Herbes de Romance" (Herbes de Provence) from Curio Spices
Special Treat - Donut holes from Union Square Donuts

 

RECIPES
John Henry shared his secrets for the absolute best Chicken Pot Pie.  Recipes and notes from John below:

Vodka pie crust: "The vodka helps with moisture and flaking without adding gluten formation that bogs down the dough."

Chicken Pot Pie Filling: "And here's the filling recipe that I use. A note on my pot pie - I usually add a pinch of fresh sage to the roux to get a nice herby component going. The hot sauce they call for is fine, but I often omit to let the herbs come forward. Also, I go with a 50/50 split of breast and thigh meat - I find the thigh meat adds a layer of texture and provides a stronger backdrop to the vegetable flavors than straight white meat."

A couple of options with this week's ingredients:

  • If you are not interested in making crust, you could use a pre-made pie crust, or omit the crust all together and serve over rice or other veggies.
  • We use Yellow Onions in lieu of Pearl Onions.
  • Lastly, Pot Pie is totally flexible. If you have corn, mushrooms, beans or corn that you want to add- go for it!

Perfect Roast Chicken: We have shared this recipe before but it bears repeating. Since our birds come from Tad at Feather Brook either whole or halved- they deserve to be cooked that way. You can use the Curio spice mix directly on top of an in the cavity of the chicken for extra flavor.  If you are not going for Pot Pie, you can layer any veggies beneath it before cooking. They will soak up the chicken fat (yum!) and give you easy lunches all week.

Roasted Tomato Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella: Ok, enough with the Chicken already. This pasta dish is one we make at home but couldn't find a good version of on the Web. It is simple and flexible: In a large sauté pan heat two good glugs of olive oil. Add a chopped onion and cook on low heat until it smells good but doesn't brown. Salt and pepper it. Add in chopped tomatoes and cook on low heat until they start to break down and thicken.  Once this is set add your (cooked and drained!) Rigatoni to the mix.) Feel free to add an any greens you are looking to use as well ( arugula, spinach, asparagus). Right before serving add the fresh mozzarella cut into pieces, let it melt and voila. Delicious.

TIPS AND TRICKS 

Defrosting Frozen Meat: FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, DO NOT USE THE MICROWAVE. Sorry for the all-caps - this is really important. :) Using the microwave will ruin the texture and taste of your meat. The Kitchn has written a great article on how to quickly and safely defrost meat. The ideal (slower) method is to defrost in the refrigerator, but this may take a day or two with larger pieces of meat. If you only have a few minutes, place your frozen meat (i.e. half-chicken) in a large bowl in the sink.  Run cool water over the frozen food, allowing it to overflow in the bowl and drain into the sink. This removes heat from the meat quickly, while keeping it below the temperature where bacteria grow (40 deg F).