There’s just something about homemade chicken pot pie that is so comforting. Maybe it’s the perfect balance of chicken, herbs, veggies, gravy and flaky golden crust. I often enjoy adding a little twist to my chicken pot pie, by making “Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie”.
I begin by placing split chicken breast (with skin on) in a cast iron skillet. Next I rub olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs all over the chicken and roast it in the oven. The herbs can vary based on personal taste, but I typically like you use fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper which pair nicely with poultry.
When I have the funds available I like to try and use locally raised chicken. There are many options available to us in the Monadnock region. One of my favorite farms sits just outside Keene, NH off Route 10. If you like buying local and enjoy an adventure, check out Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, NH. They offer a variety of meat and dairy products including “pasture raised hens.” Manning Hill Farm is a 126-acre diversified, sustainable working farm with beautiful views of the Connecticut River Valley. The farm was built in the 1850s and is now owned and operated by animal lovers Sam Canonica and Sarah Costa.
While the chicken is roasting I sauté together onions, garlic, celery, carrots, portabella mushrooms, butternut squash, frozen peas and spices. When the veggies are soft in texture I add in chicken broth and allow everything to simmer. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, I allow it to cool and remove it from the bones. Next I add the chicken and juices from the bottom of the skillet to the vegetable/broth mixture. I also add in a “rue mixture” of melted butter, flour, broth and chicken bouillon to thicken the filling. Waste not-want not, I love to set aside the chicken bones in the fridge to make chicken soup later on.
There are many different many recipes online and in cookbooks for making deconstructed chicken pot pie. My favorite is to ladle the filling over mashed potatoes in the deep bowl and place puffy pastry on top. The best mashed potatoes in my book are made with milk, butter, garlic and salt & pepper. However, if you are on a health kick or cannot tolerate milk adding chicken broth is a healthier option. Finally, puff pastry acts as an amazing flaky addition to this heartwarming dish.
Most grocery stores have a variety of brands but I typically go with Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. They’re incredibly handy to keep in your freezer and can help you create anything from appetizers to breakfast. Most puffy pasty require you to preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake for approximately 12-14 minutes OR until the puff pastry is golden and flaky.