We spent a number of meals in the UK eating a variety of pies. From pasties to steak and ale, we just couldn’t get enough. When we returned late Saturday, all we could think about was more pie. So despite the impending hurricane, M ran to the store for pie-making materials. And on Sunday, I made pot pie.
For once, I opted not to even look at a recipe (full disclosure: except to find a consensus on best oven temperature). Our original Sunday dinner intention had been a whole roasted chicken, so I went for chicken and whatever vegetables M could scrounge from a grocery store swarming with anxious citizens. I happily set to chopping. By the end of the trip, I was missing home fiercely, and spending an hour putting together a pot pie soothed the ache.
Incidentally, this is even better warmed up the next day.
Home-from-the-Honeymoon Pot Pie
- 2 parsnips, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pans
- 5 ounces brown baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon mushroom stock concentrate (I used this one)
- 1 pound chicken breasts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pans and brushing on top
- 3 tablespoons white rice flour
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Fill a saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add salt and the parsnips and carrots. Boil until tender, then drain and set aside. Wipe out the saucepan with a paper towel.
Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet and add the chicken pieces. Salt and pepper, then cook until just done, stirring when necessary. Set aside.
Meanwhile, put the ¼ cup olive oil in an ovenproof ramekin. Add the garlic slices, stirring to coat. Place in the oven as it continues preheating. Heat some more olive oil or unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and stir. Remove the garlic from the oven, and carefully transfer the slices only to the onion-mushroom mixture. Add the cooked chicken pieces and thyme, stir, and leave over low heat while you make the sauce.
Gently heat the milk and bay leaf, either carefully in the microwave or in a small saucepan. In the saucepan used for the carrots and parsnips, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the 3 tablespoons white rice flour, whisking constantly. Cook until tan-colored, still whisking. Remove the bay leaf from the milk. Add the milk to the butter and flour mixture a bit at a time, whisking in each addition thoroughly. Aim for a Béchamel, erring on the side of thinner rather than thicker. Add salt and pepper.
Spoon the vegetable-chicken mixture into a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish, making sure it’s evenly spread. Pour the béchamel sauce and chicken sauce over and stir if needed to make it even. Top with the pie crust, cut a few slits, and brush with a little melted butter. Bake for about forty minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.