Now that I buy whole chickens from local farms, I’m always looking for new recipes using cooked chicken. (Some day I’ll learn how to cut a chicken into parts and maybe even how to cut the breast meat off the bone, but for now I just cook ’em whole and figure out what to do with the harvested meat.)
We love my Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Chili, but to be honest, we’re getting tired of the same two dishes. So a few weeks ago I put out a call for recipes using cooked chicken meat, and reader Nancy recommended Alton Brown’s curry chicken pot pie.
I knew immediately that it would be a hit, and I have had a package of puff pastry in my freezer for probably six months so it was clearly meant to be. (And yes, I realize that packaged puff pastry is not a whole food. We’re not 100% around here and I don’t expect we ever will be.)
Turns out, this is a tasty dish that is easy to throw together if you have the cooked chicken already in your fridge. So here’s how it all went down.
Spread the mixed veggies onto a cookie sheet, toss in olive oil, and pop them into a 400-degree oven to cook until they’re nice and golden brown.
Meanwhile, sweat the onion and celery. I had to look up what this meant. When you sweat veggies, you cook them over low heat with a cover on, to bring out the moisture. I didn’t have celery or onions in the house, so I used scallions. Then you’re supposed to add 2 more tablespoons of butter and cook out the water. I’m really not sure what the point is, but I did it because I generally do what I’m told.
While that’s all happening, you heat up milk and chicken broth in a saucepan. Yes, this recipe uses a lot of pans. But it bakes for 30 minutes so you can clean up the pans while it’s cooking and when you sit down to dinner, you have the dishes half done.
Then you go back to the onions and you add the flour and the curry powder.
Cook one to two minutes and then whisk in the hot milk mixture and cook until thickened. Then all you do is add the parsley, salt & pepper, the browned vegetables, and the chicken and pour the whole mixture into a pie plate lined with foil.
Then top with 6 to 8 circles of puff pastry. I placed the whole thing on a foil lined baking sheet, in case it decided to overflow my pie plate.
Next time I’ll cut the pastry into a circle. I thought the corners would kind of fold over and make a nice crust, but they didn’t quite do that. It tasted fine, but it looked kind of funky. At any rate, put it in the oven and cook until the puff pastry is golden and the filling is hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
And that’s that! You don’t even have to worry about preparing a side dish, unless you want a fresh salad, which would be a nice touch. I always like to have something fresh with my one dish meals.
You can get the recipe in its entirety at FoodNetwork.com. The only alterations I made was to use olive oil instead of canola, and I only used half the curry powder it called for. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the curry flavor so I went easy on it. I think it was perfect for us. I also used whole milk and homemade chicken stock.
Got more chicken recipes for me to try? I’d love to get more suggestions!