Our 2 secret ingredients for the Improv challenge this month are Peas and Carrots.
My first reaction was Yuck! I don’t like peas or cooked carrots, so I really wasn’t looking forward to the challenge. I had an idea to make carrot cake cut-out sugar cookies, decorated like peas and carrots. However, no one else was as enthusiastic about it as I was. So I mumbled and I moaned and complained, and I made chicken pot pies. And I picked out most of the peas and the carrots. No, really I did!
Oh, and my original idea? I made the cookies, but I need to tweak the recipe a little!
One Year Ago: Biscoff Truffles
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
To make the filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken breasts in a baking pan, rub them with olive oil, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into small pieces. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock, add in the bouillon cubes and allow them to dissolve. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the diced onions and cook until translucent. Turn the heat to low and add in the flour. Stir continuously for 2 minutes. Add in the hot chicken stock and stir to combine. Once thickened (about 2 minutes), add in 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Stir in the diced chicken, carrots, peas, and dried parsley. Keep warm over low heat while you make the pastry dough.
To make the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, work in the butter until the mixture resembles large pebbles. Stir in the sour cream- the mixture will still be very crumbly. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it starts to come together (this is messy, so don’t get discouraged). Pat the dough into a log and roll it into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle (again, the dough will still look like a mess, stay strong and just keep moving forward with the directions!). Lightly dust the dough with flour, then take one of the short ends and fold it towards the center of the dough. Take the other short end and fold it over the first fold (like you are folding a business letter). Give the dough a 90 degree turn and roll out into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle. Repeat the folding sequence. Lightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes*.
To assemble the pot pies:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Divide the filling evenly between 4 oven-safe bowls. Divide the pastry dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator for another use. Divide the remaining half into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8 inch square (or circle if you want it to look really pretty). Brush the outside edge of the bowls with the egg wash, then place the dough on top of each bowl, lightly pressing the sides. Brush the tops of the dough with the egg wash and using a sharp knife, cut 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place the bowls onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is hot. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
*The dough can be made ahead of time, however, I did not blanch or pre-cook my carrots. Letting the filling simmer while the dough was resting gave the carrots a chance to cook. That said, my carrots were still a little crunchy, but that was fine with me. If you prefer your carrots cooked completely, blanch them before adding them into the filling.
Made with love, not calories!
I’m linked at: Chocolate, Chocolate, & More, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, What’s Cooking, Love?, Seven Thirty Three, The Mandatory Mooch, The Busy Bee’s, Dysfunction Junction, House of Hepworths, The Frugal Girls, Craftionary.