I tried a new tactic with the kidlet this past week. I told her that I was trying a new recipe on the food blog especially for her. She’s told me a time of two how much she enjoys the chicken pot pie her school cafeteria makes. It took me long enough for the light bulb to go off, but when I realized how I could possibly cash in on this as a mom, I knew I needed to find a way to get her to eat it at home as well. In case you’re new here, my kidlet is a frustratingly picky eater. Knowing the hubby and I are not alone in this type of kid is about the only thing that makes it bearable.
Now, before you say it, I know – puff pastry. And so – YES. PUFF PASTRY. One one side, welcome to another edition of All Things Puff Pastry. (Look, I even added it as a category under Baking!) On the other side, I know it’s not the healthiest stuff on the planet. But I’m talking notoriously picky kidlet here, and as much as she seems to be proud of a mom who can cook, she rarely comes off Mt. Chicken Nugget to actually partake.
Like so many wonderful cooking things, we start this really easy journey to yumminess with the holy trinity of comfort food: carrots, onion and celery. We advise dicing these fairly small since this will all be going into puff pastry triangles, where you really cannot fit as much filling in as you thought you’d be able to. Trust us. We’ve learned our lesson, and now we say just don’t overfill. Start ahead by making those filling ingredients fairly small.
Like most recipes that have mostly chopping for the prep work, once you’ve done said chopping, it all comes together really quickly. Thank goodness for tried and true kitchen techniques, huh? The filling is, at this point, smelling heavenly and bubbling and thickening. Oh my!
After the filling is beginning to thicken, go ahead and get that puff pastry ready. Pull it out of the fridge where it’s been staying nice and cold. It’s got a lot of butter in it, so you don’t want it getting too close to room temperature.
Working fairly quickly, cut your sheet into four squares, rolling each out just enough to create a square that, once you fold it over, makes a triangle about five to six or so inches wide at it’s back folded section.
Oh, and have two to three sheets of this stuff at the ready. The filling made plenty for us, enough for 12 delicious turnovers.
Using the ever popular Eyeballing It technique, we added about a quarter cup of the filling to each square.
Fold the square over the filling into a triangle and smoosh the edges together first with your fingertips. Take the edge of a fork and, coming in about a half-inch, smoosh those smooshed edges some more to help seal the whole deal closed.
Last but not least, brush the entire part of the pastry you can see (in other words, not the bottom touching the pan), with egg. The recipe says to add a dash of water to the egg, but you can leave that out. Plain ‘ole egg is fine.
And lo, behold! Beautifully puffed and savory turnovers!
Once these have cooled about ten to fifteen minutes, serve them up quick. They’ll have been smelling absolutely heavenly while cooking and driving your family crazy. This version of chicken pot pie works perfectly for me as I’m a big fan of the crust. Cool them enough and they’re even pretty sturdy, enough to handle by hand if you prefer. Great for kids, great for adults, great for just getting down to some good comfort eats.
Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers
adapted slightly from Melissa d’Arabian via FoodNetwork.com
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Level: Easy Makes: 8-12 turnovers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme (fresh can also be used)
- 1 tablespoon flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
- 2-3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the onions, carrots, and celery with salt and pepper, to taste, until the carrots soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Add the flour and cook off the raw flavor, about 1 minute more. Turn up the heat to medium-high and deglaze the pan with the wine. Whisk in the stock and Dijon mustard. Add the peas and chicken and cook on a very low simmer until the sauce thickens up into a gravy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold the pastry dough and cut into 4 even squares. Gently roll out each square, increasing the size of the square by about 20 percent. Place the squares on a baking sheet and spoon the chicken mixture in the center, about one-quarter cup per pastry square. Fold the squares diagonally to create triangles. Pinch the edges together to create turnovers (use a little water if needed to bind). Press the edges with a fork to create a decorative border. Whisk the egg and brush over the turnovers. Cut a small slit in the top to allow the steam to escape during baking. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
I noticed this is part of Melissa d’Arabian’s Picky Eaters Project, of which I’ll have to check out more because my picky eater loved it! And she had these two days in a row! I may be a fan now.
If you want, make the filling a day before to save time. Cool and refrigerate overnight, and put your frozen puff pastry in the fridge the same night to allow it to slowly thaw. The next day your filling and pastry are both ready to go. I refrigerated part of our filling and made more turnovers the next day and there was no difference whatsoever in taste.