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Old 09-28-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default Need help with chicken pot pie!

I have to make the world's best chicken pot pie in a month.

Here's the challenging part, though- I'll be making it at home, and taking it to a friend's camp about 200 miles away.

I need to prepare it in advance, and take it. The issue is that it will be out of the freezer, and only in a cooler, from 7 AM on. There is no electricity at the cottage, so no freezer there either, just coolers.

I want to make the crust and freeze it, thinking it will thaw on the way. I wanted to make the whole thing and freeze it, but I think it would partially (or mostly) thaw, and the crust would get soggy.

So not only do I need the best recipe that is stick-to-your-ribs, but innovative and a bit gourmet, but something that can be prepared a day in advance and then put together and baked at camp.

I was thinking of a savory crust, with butter instead of lard/crisco but not too much savory-ness, if that makes sense. Nothing spicy, as we have three Swedes in the group. I thought I'd make the crust, roll it out between sheets of wax paper, and freeze. Then make the filling, with the traditional chicken pot pie ingredients. I think baby bella mushrooms would be a good addition as well.

Dessert will be pumpkin pie-ish bars with a shortbread cookie crust, but I did consider pumpkin flan so as to not have two "crusts" in a meal but that won't be as easy to make in advance.

Please help me! I want this to be great, but easy to just put together and put in the oven at camp. Thank you!


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Old 09-29-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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Ok. Here's what I would do. Do you have a Dutch oven? Freeze the crust and the filling separate for transport. You could use a biscuit type crust - mix the fat/flour at home and freeze and mix the liquid on site.


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Old 09-29-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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Oh, I will have to go find the actual recipe I use... It's kick a$$
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melana
Oh, I will have to go find the actual recipe I use... It's kick a$$
I've got a recipe for the pumpkin 'bars' as well.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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I never had good luck with all butter crusts, for chicken pot pie I always use some bacon grease or lard. I think the problem with using all butter is butter has water in it, texture is never right. Maybe margarine? A food processor is the best way to incorporate the cold fat for sure.

For the filling I use dark meat, I know everyone else wants white meat, but I think dark meat offers more flavor, and it's cheaper. I put all kinds of things in my filling, but mushrooms and celery are not optional!! If I want a good hardy meal I may even sneak some potatoes in there.

I hope your crust survives the journey, I am worried for it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:23 AM   #6
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Easy. Make up a lard crust but don't roll it out until you get there. Just keep it on ice. Make the filling ahead of time including partial cooking of anything you want tender crisp. Assemble on site and detonate.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:06 AM   #7
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Yooper,

I make a kick a$$ pot pie. I use the recipe from The Joy of Cooking for the crust. It can't be beat!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortning
1 stick butter
1/3 cup ice water

My wife and I have a hobby farm where we raise Chickens and turkeys. It is just the two of us at home now and when we roast a bird for a meal, there is always a ton of leftovers, so we often use them to make pot pies for the freezer.

I can't help you with a recipe for the filling as I never use one, but I would suggest that you use some broccolli in them, as it always seems to be a hit at our house. If you freeze them you might want to shy away from using potatoes as they tend to get a little grainy after freezing. Also, if you really want "great" chicken flavor, find a local farmer that will sell you a chicken that is an egg laying breed. I use them to make a stock and then add some regular super market chicken for the meat ( the egg layers are a firmer meat, some even say tougher). The egg layer breeds take much longer to get to butcher size than do the meat types, and because of that, have a more intense "chicken" flavor.

We always make the pot pies in Corell soup bowls and put them in the freezer. Any Pyrex type dish works though. After they freeze we even take them out of the bowls, and bag them, and then put them back in the freezer so we can have the bowls back in the cupboard. They tend to stay frozen for a long time, if left on the counter to thaw, and would likely stay nearly frozen solid if properly packed in a cooler, for a day or more. They tend to come out better when cooked from frozen, rather than thawed first. Just be sure to put them back in the bowl before baking, and spray the bowl liberly with cooking spray, they tend to stick like glue!

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Old 09-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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How about seeing some of these recipes? I would like to pre-make pot pies for when we don't have much time for meal preparation. I have an idea of making the crusts with a butter flavored shortening instead of using real butter, rolling it into flats and freezing it. Thaw and put into the pie pans. For the insides, I want to try doing all preparation work, put measured quantities into vacuum bags and sous vide for pasteurization. This should store well in the refrigerator for a week or two without changing the texture of potatoes.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Melana gave you the good advice, make the crust and filling separately and only combine them when it's time to cook.

This is my go to recipe, I do at least one huge batch every year. I sometimes don't do the biscuit top. What I like about it is that the way of cooking it keeps the flavors separate and the veggies have some al dente quality to them.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo...it-Crust-11056

Mangia!
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhumbline View Post
Melana gave you the good advice, make the crust and filling separately and only combine them when it's time to cook.

This is my go to recipe, I do at least one huge batch every year. I sometimes don't do the biscuit top. What I like about it is that the way of cooking it keeps the flavors separate and the veggies have some al dente quality to them.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo...it-Crust-11056

Mangia!
Oh, that might work even better for me than the traditional two-crust pot pie. I can make it in advance, and throw the biscuit crust together when it's time to bake.


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