Alton Brown's Curry Chicken Pot Pie

Friday night we took the easy way out and ordered a pizza. Lauren was sick, we received a couple of dvds in the mail and decided that was enough. Saturday was a little different. After running a few errands we happened to catch the chicken pot pie episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Knowing that its getting warmer by the day, we decided to take one last run at winter comfort food with chicken pot pie. However, Bobby Flay's chicken pot pie recipe from Throwdown is not available on the Food Network website, because its a recipe he serves at one of his restaurants. So we got online to research what Good Eats had on the topic, which is how we came to the Curry Chicken Pot Pie:

  • 4 cups frozen vegetable mix, peas, carrots
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 package puff pastry
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss frozen vegetables with canola oil and spread evenly onto a sheet pan. Place into oven and cook until golden brown.

In a saute pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and sweat the onion and celery. In another saucepan, heat the broth and milk. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the celery mix and cook out the water. Add the flour and curry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk mixture and cook until thickened. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Toss the browned vegetables and the chicken. Pour into a shallow baking pan, or a large terra cotta pot base, lined with foil, and top with 6 to 8 circles of puff pastry. Place into the oven and cook until puff pastry has browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

We made two changes to the recipe. First, we didn't roast the vegetables. We used frozen peas and canned corn, fresh carrots and potatoes (blanched, about 1.5 cups of each) and mushrooms. If you're going to do this though, you'll probably really want to consider adding at least 50% more liquid (milk/cream or chicken stock) than the recipe is calling for. Our potatoes sucked up all the extra moisture immediately and made the filling less of a thick soup and more of an actual pie filling. The filling made enough to fill a 13 x 9 pan, so plan on that. For the chicken we just picked up rotisserie chicken from the deli section at Meijer, then shredded it by hand.

Our second alteration was that we didn't use puff pastry because of our experience with the last pot pie. We instead made some sweet potato biscuits from scratch, an idea stolen from Bobby Flay but again not listed on the Food Network website (which makes us think he serves this at one of his restaurants). Luckily Paula Deen bailed us out with a recipe for her own sweet potato biscuits:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes)
Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate, large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes and butter. Add the flour mixture to the potato mixture and mix to make a soft dough. Then add milk a tablespoon at a time to mixture and continue to cut in. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased pan and coat tops with melted butter. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Watch your oven: If the biscuits are browning too fast, lower the temperature.)

Rather than lay the sheet of dough flat over the entire casserole we cut the biscuits into rounds and hoped they would expand. They didn't they grew up way more than they grew out, so we ended up with a 12 piece chicken pot pie, each with its own sweet potato biscuit yarmulka. Given that the filling was already cooked, we baked the dish per the biscuit instructions (450 for 15 minutes).

As far as the taste, it was surprising how far a teaspoon of curry powder goes for flavor. I figured that with all the milk, cream/butter and potatoes it would kind of get washed out but it didn't. So definitely don't add any more curry powder than it calls for. The pot pie was very good and a nice contrast to the cream heavy pot pie we made earlier from Paula Deen. The biscuits stole the show though. They were awesome. I can't wait to make something else we can use them in.

By the way, the picture above is not ours. I forgot to take a picture of it. But, it is a picture of the same curry chicken pot pie recipe that another food blog made.


Rach said...

I have yet to cook with curry. It may be one of the few spices that I do not own. Peter is not a huge curry fan. This recipe looks super good. Was is really an overwhelming curry taste? Or was it subtle. Let me know if you find a recipe with very subtle curry flavors. Maybe I can get him to warm up to it...kinda like he has sort of warmed up to spicier foods.

Jen said...

Curry powder itself is not overly hot. It is extremely flavorful though, so a little does go a long way. If you are using curry powder and want something spicy-hot, you will have to add something like chili powder or pepper flakes to it to kick up the heat.

I made this dish for my boyfriend and two other friends of ours. I roasted the veggies like Alton says, and also added a few cubed red potatoes to the frozen veggies while roasting. Did everything else the same as the recipe. Baked it in a 9x13 inch pan. Almost the entire thing was gone by the time our guests left. It is a very good dish. A little time consuming but not bad, and not difficult.