This chicken pot pie is delicious but also chock full of vegetables with carrot, zucchini, peas and corn which makes it a complete meal with 4 cups of vegetables per pie! It's also creamy but made without any cream at all! The filling has a touch of curry flavour to supercharge it with flavour! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
A chicken pot pie is an easy pie because it can be made with just a top layer of pastry. It's a creamy chicken filling with vegetables and is comfort food personified. It's also a nice meal to share for Mother's Day or to deliver to your mother!
I like meals to be a complete meal so I tend to pile them thick with vegetables. This has lots of vegetables-4 cups worth in fact not including onions and garlic. Although this pie can technically feed 4 or 4 especially when paired with salad, this gave us two meals mainly because it was so delicious we both went for seconds so that's just a little warning about its moreishness!
Creamy but no cream! I didn't have any cream in the fridge so I made this using a roux. A roux is a mixture of melted butter and flour that is cooked and then you add milk to become a creamy, velvety white sauce simulating a cream sauce but without cream. It is the base for a bechamel sauce and other creamy white sauces. I always use whole full cream milk because I hate skim milk and I would avoid using skim milk although in a pinch it will do.
Other vegetables that work: You want 4 cups of cubed vegetables and this can also include any of these vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potato, celery, green beans, chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and potatoes. Even tinned beans work!
Make your puff pastry super puffy! Make sure to cool the filling completely before covering in pastry. Puff pastry works best when it is very cold and then it is placed in a very hot oven and this change in temperature helps to create the puffy, buttery layers. Putting cold puff pastry on top of hot filling will prevent this rise from occurring as the pastry get hot and the butter melts so you will need to cool the filling first. OR you can make the filling the day before (the filling can be made 3 days ahead of time).
Which curry powder? I get asked this a lot because not all curry powders are the same. I use Baba's Meat Curry Powder. It is sold at Asian grocery stores in a large bag but it's very fresh and potent with aroma and flavour.
Chicken alternatives: I have done this with very lean turkey breast and it is still tender and a great use of what could be a dry cut of meat. You could also make this entirely of vegetables too (see above vegetable list).
Healthy options: If you're trying to make it a bit healthier omit the puff pastry top and try serving this with steamed brown rice, konjac noodles or zoodles. This also cuts down on the cooling time and you can just cook this all in the saucepan.
I saved this recipe for when I had a lot of vegetables that needed using and I took the meat out of the freezer. Usually I rarely put meat in the freezer and buy it fresh but I'm limiting the amount of supermarket shops I do to once weekly.
I also somewhat foolishly embarked on another conquest which made use of some rather precious ingredients. I tried to make the perfect custard tart. To me, a gorgeous custard tart dusted with nutmeg is the perfect thing to ne, not to mention nostalgic. When a friend told me that she had a chef friend's amazing custard tart and she shared it with me I was very excited. I've had this custard tart and it's truly amazing, most of Sydney has fallen in love with it.
I was somewhat confused. If you've ever seen a chef's raw recipe it can either be strangely detailed in enormous quantities in a spreadsheet or it's the rambling scratchings of a lunatic. Okay I'm half kidding there but chefs write shorthand recipes that must be massaged into a form that the general public can understand (ask any food magazine editor).
This recipe seemed detailed but slightly odd. I was a bit confused by the quantities I was given for the pastry and the custard but I pushed on devoting 11 of my precious eggs to it, three vanilla beans and half a litre of cream and more than that of milk.
I spent all day on it and it turns out that the custard recipe made for 4 times the amount of custard while the pastry recipe made for 1.5 times the pastry. But that was nothing compared to the utterly epic disaster that was this tart. I've made a dozen custard tarts and they've all ranged from decent to very good but I still wanted the very best one ever.
What it ended up being was the very worst custard tart I've ever made. EVER. The custard was puckered and bubbled (how?) and the whole thing wasn't tasty or looked good. All I needed after that was a bit of a lie down and to lick my wounds...
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever seen a chef's raw recipe before editing? How often do you go grocery shopping nowadays?