Latest

Top Chef Carla Hall’s Famous Chicken Pot Pie

November 19, 2013 7:00 PM

View Comments
(Photo credit: Atria Books)

(Photo credit: Atria Books)

Carla Hall attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland and is owner and executive chef of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company based out of Washington, DC. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and stepson, Noah. To learn more about Carla Hall, please visit her website: www.carlahall.com.

“Cooking with Love” by Carla Hall is available from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. This recipe was reproduced with permission from the publisher. Interested in hearing more about our cookbooks? Sign up for the Read Before Eating Newsletter here!

When I made this recipe on Top Chef, I nailed the dish, topping the buttery bottom crust with my light, creamy sauce and brightening it all with my homemade pea salt. Everyone who ate it could feel and taste the love. They tasted my memories of that soulful dish—and their own memories of pot pies past—and got a big hug from me with that pretty little pie. That’s what I mean when I say I make food that hugs you.

A big lesson learned that day, though. When you really want to impress at the table, just make something you yourself really love. Because if you’re excited by it, whoever’s eating it will be too.

Related: Roasted Lamb Recipe From The Way We Ate

Carla Hall’s Famous Chicken Pot Pie (with Crust on the Bottom!)
Serves 8

Pie Crust
Flaky Butter Crust (see back of postcard for recipe)
1 large egg

Filling
3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
4 medium yellow onions, diced
1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
6 celery ribs, halved lengthwise then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices at an angle
6 fresh sage leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
Kosher salt and pepper
2 quarts Chicken Stock or store-bought unsalted chicken broth
2 whole (2 1/2-pound) chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby peas (2 cups)

1. To make the pie crust: Divide the dough into 8 pieces, flatten each piece into a disk, and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Place 1 oven rack near the top of the oven and 1 near the bottom. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

3. Roll each disk into an 1/8-inch-thick round. Transfer to parchment-paper-lined half-sheet pans. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush the egg wash over all the dough rounds.

4. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes, switching the positions of the pans halfway through baking. Let cool completely on the pans on a wire rack.

5. To make the filling: In an extra-large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sage, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

6. Add all of the chicken pieces, return to a boil, then lower to heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Begin checking the chicken after 15 minutes and pull pieces out and transfer to a plate as they’re finished. Smaller pieces, like the wings, will be done first. When cool enough to handle, pull all the meat from the skin and bones into bite-sized pieces. Discard the bones and skin.

7. Strain the broth through a sieve, reserving both the vegetables and the broth, but removing the herbs and discarding.

8. In a very large saucepot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the hot stock and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Continue cooking until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream, then stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a boil again, then stir in the chicken pieces and vegetables until well coated. When the mixture is hot, stir in the peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Break each dough round roughly in half to form half moons and place half in the bottom of each serving dish. Divide the chicken filling among the dishes and top with the other half of dough. Serve immediately.

Flaky Butter Crust
Makes 2 (9-inch) crusts
Homemade pie crust is just the best, especially when it’s flaky and tender and buttery. Here’s my secret formula for the perfect crust. Well, it’s not so secret now that I’m putting it here, but I’m so happy to share it. The real secret to making great crust is practice. You’ll start to get the feel of it after a few pies. But even the practice ones will taste great.

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. Refrigerate until very cold, about 30 minutes. During that time, refrigerate your flour, butter, mixer bowl, and paddle attachment too.

2. In the chilled bowl, combine the cold flour and butter. With your hands, toss the butter in the flour until each cube is lightly coated. Make sure your butter’s cut into 1/2-inch cubes to begin with. Bigger pieces of butter will make your dough puffy.

3. With the chilled paddle attachment, beat the flour-butter mixture on low speed just to break up the butter, about 30 seconds. Add the water mixture all at once and raise the speed to medium-low. Beat just until the mixture comes together in big chunks, then immediately turn off the mixer.

4. Divide the chunks of dough in half and very gently pat each group into a round 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, before rolling. You can refrigerate the disks for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces, flatten each piece into a disk, and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

Related: Top 5 Worst Athlete Fashion Decisions

Carla Hall attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland and is owner and executive chef of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company based out of Washington, DC. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and stepson, Noah. To learn more about Carla Hall, please visit her website: www.carlahall.com.

“Cooking with Love” by Carla Hall is available from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. This recipe was reproduced with permission from the publisher. Interested in hearing more about our cookbooks? Sign up for the Read Before Eating Newsletter here!

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,247 other followers