I’ve always been a fan of chicken pot pie. It is the ultimate in comfort food and is the perfect use for both left over chicken as well as those chicken breasts in your refrigerator that need jazzing up. And because I’m a fan of pot pies, I naturally gravitate to them when they appear on a restaurant menu. So when I spotted something called “Queen’s Pie” on a restaurant menu recently I just had to inquire as to what it was.
My inquiry was met with a chuckle from the waiter who went on in broken English to describe a dish that contained chicken, meatballs and vegetables in a creamy broth. To me it sounded a lot like chicken pot pie and that is exactly what it was and it didn’t disappoint.
Back at home I set out to recreate this dish. Because I made this for a weeknight dinner, I used pre-made meatballs and puff pastry shells that just needed to be heated in the oven but if you have the time, could make both of these from scratch if you prefer. I augmented the meat with a generous amount of vegetables–in this case peas and corn–since they are favorites in my house and combined in all in a creamy sauce. The results were a hit. After all what isn’t to love about a chicken pot pie with meatballs!
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small coins
1 stalk celery, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
24 – 1/2 inch meatballs
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup canned corn
6 puff pastry shells
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, leek and salt and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
- Add in the garlic and saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir in the flour and the sherry, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the broth, cream, and bay leaves and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Gently stir in the chicken and meatballs.
- Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and corn, heating until the vegetables are hot.
- Cook the pastry shells according to package instructions.
- To serve, generously fill the pastry with the meat mixture.
With puff pastry and fig preserves
Wrapped in phyllo
Today’s recipe is a two for one special. One classic appetizer made two ways. Each is equally yummy so make whichever one you prefer or even better make both and compare them. Its totally decadent but then again, ’tis the season!
I love brie so this is easily my all time favorite appetizer. And what isn’t to love about warm and oozing brie encased in a crispy dough crust? It really doesn’t get any better than this. I tend to use the phyllo method if I can’t find a whole wheel of brie. You can buy two wedges then place them side by side to form a rectangle. When wrapped in the sheets of phyllo they make for a pretty presentation.
Like I said, I love both the flakey phyllo wrapped brie and the doughy puff pastry wrapped one. I tend to serve the phyllo version alongside fresh fruit and the puff pastry version topped with preserves. Fig preserves are my favorite sweet take but a spicy pepper jelly is also good. Regardless of which version you make, be sure to take the time to let the wrapped wheel of brie sit in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. This will ensure that the cheese is warm and melted without being too oozy when it comes out of the oven.
BAKED BRIE EN CROUTE
1 – 8 ounce wheel of brie, rind intact
1 – 9 x 9 1/2 inch sheet puff pastry, defrosted according to package instructions
6 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted according to package instructions
1/3 cup fig preserves (for puff pastry version)
3 tablespoons melted butter (for phyllo version)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
To make the puff pastry wrapped version:
- Place the pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Using a 12 inch pie plate as a guide, trim the dough into a neat circle.
- Transfer the circle to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the wheel of brie in the center of the dough and fold the edges towards the center of the cheese, crimping the edges into pleats as you go along.
To make the phyllo wrapped version:
- Place a sheet of phyllo dough in the center of a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with a small amount of the melted butter.
- Repeat until all of the phyllo sheets have been used.
- Place the wheel of brie in the center of the phyllo sheets.
- Fold the phyllo towards the center of the wheel, trimming the edges as necessary in order to form a neat package.
- Turn the brie over so the seam side is down.
For both versions:
- Place the wrapped brie and baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- When ready to proceed, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is brown and flakey.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top the puff pastry version with the preserves.
Yields: 10 appetizer sized portions.