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Classic/Classic Update: Chicken Pot Pie

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The classic
Cookbook author and pastry expert Abigail Johnson Dodge gives us her definitive pot pie recipe—a creamy chicken stew loaded with onions, peas, carrots, and potatoes, baked under a rich, flaky crust. In 18th-century America, meat and vegetable pies were baked in deep metal pie pans, or pots, hence the term “pot pie”. Pot pies originally had both top and bottom crusts, but woe to the diner who ate the bottom crust—it was only meant to line the pot and keep the filling from tasting like metal. The tender crust is made from just four ingredients—butter, flour, salt, and water.

Swanson created the first frozen chicken pot pie in 1951. It sold 5,000 pies that year and 10 million the next. Today, it sells about 1 million pies a year.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie
The Classic: Chicken Pot Pie

The update
New York chef David Burke breaks free from tradition in his innovative rendition of pot pie— a “bowl” of buttery whipped potatoes fi lled with a veggie-packed chicken stew featuring fennel and mushrooms, topped with sweet, roasted baby carrots. To make this mashed potato bowl all you need is a pastry bag and a 1/2-inch plain decorating tip. In addition to being an edible bowl for the stew, whipped potatoes soak up some of the rich sauce. Forget peas, this stew gets sophisticated flavor from fennel and exotic mushrooms. There is no top pastry crust here, roasted baby carrots make a striking (and delicious) topper for this “pot pie”.

  Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel and Mushrooms in a Potato Bowl
The Update: Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel & Mushrooms in a Potato Bowl

Recipes By Abigail Johnson Dodge and David Burke
from Fine Cooking #110, pp. 84-87

Photos: Scott Phillips


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