Chicken Pot Pies are an all-time great comfort food. You can bake it in a single pie plate, but it is particularly satisfying to break through a personal flaky crust into the steamy, savory goodness waiting in the dish below.
One evening we served these at a formal dinner, where one of our guests initially thought it was a questionable choice as the main on the menu. But when she saw the beautiful little ramekins and enjoyed her first bite, she understood.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||In a 2-quart bowl, add milk and broth. Add flour and whisk until there are no lumps (~25 seconds). Set aside.||Flour acts as a sauce thickener; dissolving in cool liquids discourages lump formation.|
||Pat chicken dry with a paper towel; rub with oil, salt, and pepper. In a ceramic nonstick 5-quart stockpot over medium heat, add chicken in an even layer and cook until white around the edges (~5 minutes). Meanwhile…||Drying the surfaces promote browning versus steaming. Regular olive oil is sufficient here; heat destroys and wastes the subtle flavors of expensive extra-virgin.|
||Add mushrooms and onion to the chicken; occasionally turning with a bamboo spatula until onions are translucent (~7 minutes).||Moisture from the onions hydrates the chicken while cooking. Bamboo is gentle on cookware.|
||Stir all into chicken mixture. Cook until carrots are firm but tender (~4 minutes).||Fresh carrots have better texture and color than frozen.|
||Pour milk mixture into the pot, leisurely stirring in a figure 8 pattern until thickened (5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and fold in peas and corn. Ladle into 1-cup capacity ramekins, filling just to the rims; space across a sturdy sheet pan; set aside.||Stirring protects milk against burning. A sheet pan assists handling. Frozen vegetables quickly cool the filling in preparation for the pastry tops.|
|Center an oven rack; preheat to 400°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile…||Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.|
||To shape crusts, divide the dough into 8 balls. Roll each to a diameter 2 inches wider than the ramekins. Dip a finger in the white sauce and run around the rims. Center pastry rounds on top; trim irregularities and turn under for a neat edge. Crimp and press dough to rims to seal; prick each center 6 times with a fork; bake promptly. Remove when pastry edges are amber (20-22 minutes).||The white sauce helps pastry adhere to ramekins to reduce filling leaks. Only a top crust is used here because bottom crusts tend to get soggy due to the warm filling.|
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