Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Freezer Chicken Pot Pies

This came out of a Cook's Country Magazine. You definitely have to freeze these for a few days before you bake them. They are really soupy when you make them but thicken up while frozen and then when baked.

Freezer Chicken Pot Pies

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2Tbls. veggie oil
5 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
2 Tbls lemon juice
1 (15 oz.) boxes Pillsbury ready to roll pie crust
1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 large egg, beaten, for baking
1 1/2 c. frozen peas

1. To make ahead: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbls. oil in lg dutch oven over high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Transfer chicken to large plate and strain broth into bowl.

2. Melt butter with remaining 1 Tbls. oil in now empty dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook onion, carrots, celery and 1/4 tsp. salt until lightly browned and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook 1 minute. Whisk in reserved broth, milk, and thyme and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Off heat, add chicken and lemon juice to sauce and season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to medium bowl and cool until just warm. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

4. Unwrap and unroll pie crusts onto lightly floured surface. Glue 2 crusts together using 1 beaten egg. Do this again with remaining two crusts. Cut out 6 pastry toppings(I use the small disposable aluminum rectangle pans and just use the top as a template for your crusts) Stir frozen peas into cold filling and divide mixture among six 2-cup disposable aluminum loaf pans. Top with pastry and use fork to seal edges. Using paring knife, make 3 steam vents in each crust. Tightly wrap each loaf pan in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.

5. When ready to serve: Adjust oven to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap frozen pot pies and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Brush crusts with egg, cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until crusts are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let pot pies rest 10 minutes before serving.

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