Tuscan-style chicken pot pie: Comfort food for company

Do you have company coming? This comfort food classic will have them (or you) asking for seconds and thirds

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I’ve mentioned before that chicken pot pie is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods. The combo of piping hot saucy chicken and veggies topped with a buttery pastry crust…yum. (Anyone else craving chicken pot pie now?) And thanks to Chatelaine, I have just found my favourite pot pie recipe: Tuscan-style chicken pot pie.

We recently had a friend staying with us, and I wanted to make something for our Saturday night table that was low-key, but filling and full of goodness. With the traditional ingredients you’d expect, like chicken, white sauce, veggies, and pastry, this dish will make any pot pie fan happy. But it’s the addition of things like fennel, thyme, and grated parmesan between the layers of pastry that makes this dish a keeper…and pushed it to the top of my faves list.

Luckily mini sous chef was smitten with our house guest, so I had the kitchen all to myself which was good, because this recipe has plenty of ingredients and is most certainly not a one-pot dish. Despite more steps than other recipes I’ve made of late, none were all that tricky…except the puff pastry, but more on that in a minute.

Poaching the chicken in a combo of water, peppercorns, bay leaf, and onion was a fast and easy way to prepare it. Then comes the chopping; green onion, fennel, cooked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, artichokes, broccoli, and thyme. Whew! The white sauce is made of butter, flour, milk (I used 1% although the recipe called for homogenized), chicken broth, nutmeg and salt, and was bubbly and thick in no time. And once the sauce thickens, you add the veggies, give it a good stir to mix, and put it in your baking dish. Then on to the pastry…

Now the pastry shouldn’t have caused me trouble. But what I’m learning through my Chatelaine cooking adventures is that I suck at rolling out pastry. Even when it’s been pre-made for me and requires very little handling. For some reason I can never get it the right thickness, size, or shape, despite a good rolling pin and my best efforts. I may have to finally admit that I’m pastry challenged.

This recipe calls for two layers of dough (one piece is cut in half and rolled to size), with slightly beaten egg brushed on one piece, which is then covered with grated parmesan and the chopped thyme. You then take the second, (ideally) similarly shaped piece and place it on top of the first egg-brushed piece of dough. You press the two together to seal them and then lay the pastry crust over the chicken mix to create the lid. After 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven, the pot pie came out browned, bubbling, and looking delish.

And it tasted even better than it looked, thanks to the parmesan and thyme in the crust, and the fennel and artichokes inside. Very enthusiastic thumbs up from the dinner table, with everyone enjoying seconds, and in my case, not a word of a lie, thirds. Good thing I had time for a run that day.

Try this recipe: Tuscan-style chicken pot pie