Remember the shriek that little Lord Umber let out last week, right after his ice-blue eyes snapped open and he reached his little wight-hands toward my beloved Tormund? You know, the shriek that made us all pee our pants? Right. That one.
It’s been haunting my dreams for the last few days. Honest-to-Gods, it’s been everywhere in my subconscious spooking the heck out of me at least twice a night. Because of that decided I needed the #MidWesterosCookingChallenge for Week Two to be super comfy and cozy, with a delicious and creamy dessert. Food makes me feel better and this particular meal needed to make me feel better about last week AND prepare me for whatever potential horrors Episode Two was going to bring.
And what better comfort food than chicken pot pie? It’s creamy, it’s savory, it’s a pie. Those are three of my favorite things. And then to follow it up with homemade cream puffs? COME ON! Pure genius on my part, really.
Unfortunately for me, I forgot about Sunday being Easter Sunday… And that meant my day got cut in half because of a trip to my aunt’s house for a late Easter lunch. I pried myself away from the egg hunt and headed home, knowing I was already behind schedule for my GoT dinner plans. And then my phone stopped working properly and I wasn’t able to get many in-progress photos of my preparation. But here we are! It all got finished in time for the show, it was all very very tasty, and the kitchen survived.
Chicken Pot Pie
*this recipe makes TWO 9″ DEEP DISH pot pies, which is a lot of food*
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 3/4 cups sliced carrots
1 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups good quality chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk (I used whole)
4 cups cooked chicken, in bite-size pieces (I used breasts and thighs)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
4 sheets refrigerated pie crust (because who has time to make crusts!?)
egg yolk + splash of water
Pro Tips: Get your slicing and dicing and peeling and stuff done BEFORE you assemble all of this. You won’t have time to prep your next step while things are cooking. Trust me. Also, set out your crusts once you preheat the oven. You might need to roll them out a little to fit your pie plate and they’ll tear if you try and roll them cold. And MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GIANT SKILLET. I used a 14″ skillet and it was almost too small when it came time to mix all the filling ingredients together.
2. In a LARGE, high walled skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thick like gravy.
3. Stir in chicken, peas, corn and potato mixture; remove from heat. If it’s too thick, splash a little milk into the pan, a tablespoon at a time, and mix.
4. Unroll a pie crust into each of two 9-in. DEEP DISH pie plates. Add chicken mixture. Unroll remaining crusts; place over filling. Roll the edges together, twisting toward the middle of the pie. Cut vent slits, and brush the egg white and milk wash over the tops.
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
I let the pies stand on the counter while I steamed a pound of asparagus and popped the cream puff shells out of the oven.
These are SO stupid-simple to make, I’m amazed.
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Additional powdered sugar for dusting
1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil over medium heat. Dump the flour in all at once and stir vigorously until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
3. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls (I used an ice cream scoop with a trigger release, filling the scoop about 2/3) onto greased baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between each blobby. Combine milk and egg yolk; brush over puffs. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape; cool. *The bottoms of mine got a little bit dark and it altered the taste of the puff– these are super delicate and lightly flavored desserts, so the slightest bit of over-browning can really throw off the taste balance. Be super careful!*
4. When the puff shells are cool and you’re almost ready to serve, start the cream. Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until almost stiff. Split cream puffs and gently pull out any soft dough from inside. Be mindful to not rip your shells. Fill the cream puffs so they’re nice and fat, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. *I grabbed a spatula and filled a large piping bag with my cream for easier filling. I did not use a tip; the bag’s nose was the perfect size as is.* Refrigerate any leftovers loosely wrapped in foil.
This dinner was DELICIOUS but also a train wreck to throw together considering I cut myself way too short on time because of the holiday I somehow forgot about. If I’d left my aunt’s house earlier, I probably would have been way less stressed and way more in control. The next time I put the chicken pot pie recipe on the menu, I’m either going to do it on a day where I have nothing else planned or I’m going to peel and chop my veggies and cook my chicken the night before. The assembly process for this recipe goes so quickly it could be called a dump recipe, and I wasn’t expecting that. I definitely didn’t give myself enough lead time and I almost ruined the whole affair by not getting the pies into the oven on time.
I mean, I was filling the puffs at 7:57pm and the episode starts at 8:00pm. I was FRANTIC.
But like I said, it all came together in the end and we had a beautifully filling meal and a lovely light dessert, which perfectly set the mood for Episode Two.
The Final Score
Pot Pie: 5/5 Ravens
— A flavorful and hearty filling with perfectly juicy chicken all under a buttery flaky crust? What’s not to love!
Cream Puffs: 4/5 Ravens
— I might be alone on this verdict, but I really thought that the puffs could have had a touch more flavor and sweetness. I think next time I make them, I’ll add another spoonful of sugar and maybe a dash of strawberry flavoring to shake things up.