When I've made this pot pie in the past, it was always a bit of a challenge to transfer the rolled-out crust onto the top of my casserole dish without breaking it (and I know others experienced that, too). This time I rolled out my crust between 2 pieces of parchment paper to the shape of my casserole dish and then placed it on a cookie sheet and popped it into the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes (until firm but not frozen). Wow...I can't tell you HOW much better that worked in transferring the crust to the top of the casserole! As many of you know, I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist (I'm working on that)...and I have to tell you, I was so tempted to make my crust look perfect...but I stopped myself. I decided that if the edges weren't perfect that it was okay; and that there was a word for that...it's called "rustic". So, I allowed my pot pie to have a rustic somewhat raggedy edged crust...and you know what??? It still looked beautiful and tasted just as good (and I only cringed a couple of times). LOL. Even more importantly, my boys didn't even notice! We enjoyed the pot pie last night, and there was enough left to have for dinner again this evening, too. It tasted just as good reheated! I snapped a few photos as well as the recipe below. Enjoy!
|Before going into the oven...
|After coming out of the oven...
Chicken Pot Pie w/ Cheddar Herb Almond Crust
Makes approximately 6 servings
4 cups diced cooked chicken
4 cups chicken stock (plus extra to adjust thickness of sauce)
1 - 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 - 3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh green beans cut into 1-inch pieces (or small broccoli florets)
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 - 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper, to taste
3/4 teaspoon xanthum gum (to be added gradually, 1/2 at a time), *optional (see below)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups almond flour
3 tablespoons "cold" butter, diced
1 large egg
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray/grease a 3 quart casserole dish (preferably at least 3 inches deep) and set aside. In a 6 quart stockpot, melt butter and saute celery and onion until tender; add chicken stock, carrots, green beans or broccoli; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Bring stock and vegetable mixture to a light boil/simmer while stirring in the xanthum gum 1/2 at a time, whisking vigorously until well blended. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 in a little at a time, whisking briskly until the broth begins to thicken. Once it has reached the thickness you like, add the cream and stir well. If you accidentally thicken it more than you want, thin the sauce with additional broth. Check seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Add chicken to the sauce and mix well. Simmer on low for a few minutes to just to keep hot.
In a medium bowl, add all crust ingredients and cut in with a pastry/dough cutter until crumbly and all flour is moistened and cheese is pulverized into the mixture. Press dough together in a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper and flatten out lightly into a circular shape (or the shape of the top of your casserole); cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness to the size of your casserole dish. Handle the dough minimally with your hands (you don't want to heat up or melt the butter in the dough, you want it to remain stiff). Once dough is rolled out evenly and the size of your casserole dish, it is easier to transfer to the top of your pot pie if you place the rolled crust into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to get firm.
After chilling crust, pour hot filling mixture into casserole dish. Gently and carefully lift the dough and move it on top of the filling in the casserole (it is important to choose the right size casserole so your filling will be within an inch or so of the top when filled and the crust will fit and lay nicely on top). If it cracks a little, gently press it back together. Use any leftover scraps of dough to build a crust around the edge of casserole dish. Bake chicken pot pie in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes; lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown and done (crust is firm to the touch when done).
*Optional: If you prefer not to use xanthum gum to thicken the soup, you can substitute a few ounces of cream cheese by melting in a saucepan and stirring broth in until desired thickness.