Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping

Chicken Pot Pie

From the September/October, 2010 Cook’s Illustrated.  It sounded like a good cold weather dish, but the weather won’t cool off so I just turned the a/c down. It’s a good pot pie recipe; I’m just not sure we’re pot pie people. I omit the mushrooms. I used low-sodium soy sauce, and we agreed it tasted better with adding a little salt back in. If you use the normal type of soy sauce, you may even have to reduce the salt.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I got them at the Goose)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbs. veg. oil
  • 1 med. onion, chopped fine
  • 3 med. carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 in. thick slices (I didn’t cut them that thin and regretted it.)
  • 2 small celery ribs, chopped fine
  • table salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean and sliced thin (I omitted these)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup frozen baby peas

Crumble topping:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in. cubes and chilled
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese, finely grated (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the chicken:  bring chicken and broth to simmer in covered Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook until chicken is just done, 8 – 12 minutes.  (That’s 170F on thermometer.)  Transfer cooked chicken to large bowl.  Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measureing cup and reserve.  (Don’t wash Dutch oven.)  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat to 450F.
  2. For the topping:  Combine flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in large bowl.  Sprinkle butter pieces over top of flour.  Using fingers, rub butter into flout mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Stir in parmesan.  Add cream and stir until just combined.  Crumble mixture into irregularly shaped pieces ranging from 1/2 to 3/4 in. each onto parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until fragrant and starting to brown, 10 to 13 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. For filling:  heat 1 tbs. oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion, carrots, celery, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  (Mine were too crunchy – should have done longer.)  While veggies are cooking, shred chicken into small bite-size pieces.  Transfer cooked veggies to bowl with chicken, and set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tbs. oil in empty Dutch oven med. heat until shimmering.  Add mushrooms; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released juices, approx. 5 minutes.  Remove cover and stir in soy sauce and tomato paste.  Increase heat to med-high and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, mushrooms are well browned, and dark fond begins to form on surface of pan, approx. 5 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to bowl with chicken and veggies.  Set aside.
  5. Heat butter in empty Dutch oven over med. heat.  When foaming subsides, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and milk.  Bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen fond, then continue simmering until sauce thickens, approx. 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and 3 tbs. parsley.
  6. Stir chicken-veggie mixture and peas into sauce.  Pour into 13 x 9 in baking dish (or similarly sized dish).  Scatter crumble topping over filling.  Bake on rimmed baking sheet until filling is bubbling and topping is browned, 12 to 15 min.  Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.

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