Hello, fall. You’re a welcome treat, at least in my humble opinion.
This year has been full of twists and turns, but we can thank Mother Nature for giving us some excellent weather. With the change of the seasons comes richer, more decadent foods — savory slow-cooked dinners, one-dish meals and cooler days. Oh, and pumpkin everything, but we’ll save that for another week.
This week’s recipe is for Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese Crust. It’s so delicious. You start by deboning a rotisserie chicken, so that’s one easy step. The rest isn’t hard, but you do have to make the sauce and the crust, so it’s not a super quick meal. The end result, though, is well-worth the time you’ll invest.
When making something a little more time-intensive, it’s a great idea to double the recipe. You can always freeze one or take it to a friend or neighbor. This would make an excellent dinner for a friend who had surgery, recently had a baby or just needs some extra love.
I love the ingredients in this recipe because they’re a bit more unexpected and gourmet than the regular carrots and peas. Instead, it uses green beans and shiitake mushrooms, which are a favorite mushroom because of its umami flavor and delicate texture. The gravy is richly flavored because of the beef base, which also sets this recipe apart from a regular one. And the cream cheese crust will have you serving yourself more before you finish your first helping. Happy fall eating, readers.
Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese Crust
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
¾ cup frozen green beans
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small rotisserie chicken, deboned and skin removed
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk (can substitute 2%)
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
4 ½ teaspoons beef base (Better than Bouillon is great)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten, to glaze crust
For the filling:
After deboning the chicken, put the meat into a large bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high and cook onions for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Transfer onions to the bowl with chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet and add mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms for about 3 minutes, and then add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add mushroom mixture and green beans to chicken mixture. (The steam will soften the frozen green beans.)
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, milk, cream and beef base. Bring to a boil and then season with salt and pepper. Mix 3 cups of sauce into the chicken mixture, and reserve the rest for another use. Spoon the filling into a 1-quart au gratin ceramic dish (or a glass baking dish).
For the crust and assembly:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and salt in food processor until combined. Add the butter and cream cheese until the dough forms into one piece.
Remove dough onto a well-floured large cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out into the shape of the au gratin dish. Either cut slits to vent or use piecrust cutters to cut shapes out of the dough.
Carefully lift the dough from the cutting board onto the au gratin dish. Trim excess dough with a paring knife, leaving a bit to seal the dough onto the dish. Using the tines of a fork, press gently to indent and seal the edges. Brush the crust with egg. Bake for 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
The sauce freezes nicely and makes a great sauce for chicken or can be thickened into gravy easily.