I can only hope that one day I make meals that people are still reminiscing five years down the road. Food has a powerful effect on people and it can easily evoke emotion, bring back pleasant memories, and bring people together. Stories like her's make me strive for perfection in the kitchen. Hopefully I can bring someone the happiness her mom's friend brought her.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped white button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped red-skinned potatoes
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup cooked fresh or frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Four 6-inch squares frozen puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
Directions:Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour
and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells fragrant and nutty, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the stock, whisking until smooth, and bring to a boil.
Add the thyme, bay leaf, onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes, chicken, peas, salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Divide the filling among 4 ovenproof bowls and place on a baking sheet.
Brush the rims of the bowls with water. Place 1 pastry square on top of each bowl, pressing lightly on the edges.
Brush the puff pastry squares with the egg mixture.
Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
The puff pastry on these pies were amazing. I added ALOT of Salt and Pepper since the filling did not have very many spices besides the thyme and bay leaf which I found lent only a mild flavor. The filling turned out with the right amount of flavor, but I strongly suggest tasting before you fill the ramekins so you can adjust the seasonings to your taste. I used 7 oz ramekins and made six pies with a ton of left over filling. This recipe serves a ton more than 4 people. It was fairly easy to make and would be awesome for a big family dinner. I think I could have made almost ten pies if I had enough ramekins and an extra pack of frozen puff pastry dough. This was a really yummy meal on a very cold day - perfect comfort food!