Chef Susan Odell: I'm Susan Odell of foodell.
com. I'm a professional teaching chef and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. There is always room in my meal plan for comfort food. And one of my favorites is chicken pot pie; nice vegetables and chicken cooked in a rich thick sauce, covered with browned crispy puff pastry. And most of it you can do in advance. The first step is to saut your vegetables and get them just a little bit brown. So I'm going to heat my fat. I've got two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter. Let's get that hot before we add the vegetables. I've got two carrots cut up, two stocks of celery chopped, and one yellow onion. These are my aromatic vegetables also called a mirepoix in French cooking. These help to flavor the sauce. I've also got about a tablespoon of dried thyme; we're going to add that, and about a half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper. We're going to saut the vegetables just until they start to brown about five minutes. Once your vegetables have started to soften and they're just starting to barely brown, about five to seven minutes, adding my flour; this is two tablespoons of all-purpose flour. This is going to help give us a thick sauce to cook the vegetables in, in the oven. Just stir it out all around and make sure you cook out the floury flavor by giving it a stir for about two minutes. You want all of the vegetables to be well coated with the flour. Once the flour is incorporated, I'm going to turn the heat off and while whisking, I'm going to add three-and-a-half cups of low-sodium chicken stock. Now you can turn the heat back on and add your frozen peas. This is one cup of frozen peas and I've got a tablespoon of Madeira; you can use sherry instead just something to sweeten it up a little bit. Bring this to boil and cook it for about five minutes until the sauce is thick. Once your sauce is thickened, you can turn off the heat and add your cooked chicken. What you want to do is pour it into a baking dish, so that we can cook it in the oven with the pastry on top. When you're ready to cook your pot pie, preheat the oven to 375 and then we need to roll out the pastry. I'm using frozen puff pastry that I've thawed in the refrigerator, one sheet worth or about 8 ounces. I just need to roll it out to the approximate size of the mouth of my baking dish and just roll out towards the edges. You don't ever want to roll over the edge of your pastry; that'll flatten it. Just get close to the edge. Once my pastry is the right size, I've trimmed the edges just to make it a little more round because my baking dish is round; I'm just going to lay it right over the top of the dish. We're going to tuck in the corners a little bit, just so it's all within the dish. And I'm going to bake it until the pastry is nice and golden brown and puffed probably 20-25 minutes. Boy! Does this look good? My pot pie underneath is all bubbling and hot and my pastry is beautifully puffed. I like to serve it almost immediately, so it's good because it's good while it's hot. And I serve it family style, it's already in a petty dish, so just serve and let's eat. Bon apptit!