These Cheesy Chicken Pot Pies were waiting to happen for really really long. I haven’t made a chicken pot pie in years, and it’s the one thing that is oft requested by the kids. Maybe it was pure ‘make the pastry’ laziness, or just too much to do, it just kept getting postponed. Then yesterday, these very comforting pot pies puffed up in the oven. Funnily enough, the impetus came from a bottle of wine!
The Chardonnay from Big Banyan Wines sat calling my name. I’ve read about wine marinades for poultry and lamb, and the idea is always intriguing. I had some chicken waiting for a marinade, and one thing led to another. Soon I had a concoction in a bottle, a wine marinade/dressing! The rest of the partners in crime in the Cheesy Chicken Pot Pies were staple favourites like garlic, thyme and cheese, and seasonal favourites carrots and kohlrabi. Sweetcorn too.I use a basic marinade most of the time and various permutations and combinations of it depending on time, and then mood of course. A 3:1 extra virgin olive oil and lime juice always works well to begin with. Garlic is a must in my food, so naturally the same follows for dressings. I always have a jar of peeled garlic in the fridge because I do believe freshly minced garlic offers the best flavour. Then I add and subtract pantry basics at will. Honey and mustard add a nice touch to vinaigrette, as do dried herbs. Remember to gently rub the herbs between the palms of your hands to make the flavours come alive a little more. You could always add a dash of Tabasco or then roasted chili flakes. As I said, I do keep my food simple and basic. This time I decided to go with wine instead of the lime juice for the marinade. It’s the same way that you can use a vinegar instead of lime juice. Time is a great luxury. It allows you to endlessly play around with ingredients, also endlessly shoot images if you enjoy that. That is just what I did.The rest was quite straightforward. I made a wholewheat rough puff pastry dough for Cheesy Chicken Pot Pies. Tossed the idea back and forth. Did I want a ‘pot pie’ or did I want a crossover pastry? It’s tough when you get caught in the middle of silly indecision like this. A little wine always helps to clear the mind, which it certainly did! Some in a glass, some in the marinade and it was pot pie with a tiny lattice on top.
There is something intrinsically therapeutic about weaving a lattice for a pie if you know what I mean. Even the unbaked version feels so rewarding it’s amazing. Revising pastry weaving after what feels like ages, I was a bit unsure. However once I began, I felt I could practically weave the world! Happily enough, my wholewheat puff pastry also behaved really well. The result, a bowl scraping good delicious Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie!