When I was a kid frozen chicken pot pies were something of an anomalie to me. I was always a chubby kid who like to eat just about anything. But watery, runny, frozen chicken pot pies with half-burnt flavorless crusts? I just didn't get it.
Last year I made the most amazing vegetable pot pies from an Ina Garten cookbook. They changed my mind about pot pies. Since then I realized that it's all in the execution. A good chicken or vegetable pot pie can be good, and here's a few reasons why: 1. the filling doesn't have to be runny, it can be rich and creamy and full of flavor 2. peas and carrots aren't all bad when used in the correct proportion 3. puffed pastry dough is so much better than traditional crust. There you have it. The idea to stuff a baked potato with chicken pot pie filling came to me after reading this month's Food Network magazine. That and the fact that making a baked potato pot pie is a hell of a lot easier than making a whole pie. Oh, and I love that they're individually portioned. Here's some step by step photos to show you how to make your own:
First off, poke your potatoes! Bake them until soft.
Dice up your chicken.
Add it to a pot with the carrots and peas. Then cover it with water and poach the chicken and veggies, creating a lovely chicken broth in the process.
Reserve the liquid.
By now, your potatoes should be cool. Slice them in half.
Scoop out the flesh.
Mash it up and set it aside.
In a seperate pan, melt some butter. Good ole butter...
Sprinkle in some flour.
Whisk it up.
Cook it a little bit...you just made a roux!
Remember that reserved chicken liquid? Whisk it in.
Whisk in some milk, too.
Whisk unil thick and creamy.
Now you can add in the poached chicken and veggies.
And mix it up. Reserve some for later.
Take the mashed potato flesh from earlier and dump it in.
Mix it up, too.
Now comes the fun part. Fill the potatoes up!!
Take your puffed pastry and slice it into rectangles.
Put one on each potato.
Bake them until they look like this...
But that's not all! Take the reserved chicken filling and put it back into the pan.
Add in some more reserved chicken liquid.
Whisk it up.
You just made your topping!
Spoon it on the potatoes. You just made chicken pot pie in a baked potato!
Chicken Pot Pie Baked Potatoes
2 large yukon gold potatoes
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 carrot, diced
1/3 cup frozen peas
2 cups water
3 tbl salted butter
3 tbl all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes and poke them all over with a fork. Put on a baking sheet and bake until soft, about one hour. Let cool.
Meanwhile, dice the chicken breast into cubes. Add the chicken, diced carrot, and frozen peas into a pot and cover with the water. Salt and pepper heavily. Turn the heat to medium and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the liquid, you should have at least 1 1/4 cups, reserve.
Cut the cooled potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch border around the outside of the potato. Using a potato masher (or butter cutter) mash the flesh of the potatoes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to form a paste. Cook the raw flavor out, about one minute. Slowly pour in 3/4 cup of reserved chicken liquid, whisking constantly. The mixture should immediatly begin thickening. Whisk in the milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the chicken, carrots, and celery and mix to combine. Scoop out 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Dump the mashed potato flesh into the remaining chicken mixture and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste if needed. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish and fill with the potato-chicken mixture.
Prepare the thawed puff pastry mix by slicing 1/3 of a sheet of puff pastry into four rectangles. Place one on top of each potato. Crank the oven to 430 degrees and bake the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and puffed.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Put the reserved cup of chicken mixture back into the pot over low heat. Slowly whisk in 1/4-1/2 cup of the reserved chicken liquid until desired consistency is reached. Spoon over hot baked potatoes. Serve and enjoy!