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by on November 3rd, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Pop Tart

Pop tart/chicken pot pie tart, which is best?

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Honestly, I don’t think I have ever eaten a pop tart in all my years on this earth. My kids had their share of pop tarts I’m sure; they just never appealed to me. If I wanted a crust with fruit filling, I would have made a real pie or strudel.

Kellogg first introduced their non-frosted pop tarts in 1964. That was a year before I graduated from high school, the year Hello Dolly was released on Broadway, the Beatle’s “I want to hold your hand” topped the US charts and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor married for the first time. Ok, ok, enough, that’s depressing enough thinking I’m that old. But, I can say our youth was definitely the “good old days”.

We (my sister, brother, and I) wouldn’t have eaten pop tarts because our mother and grandmother use to make the best fried pies and yes they were much better than some fake fruit sandwiched between some pastry that was full of preservatives.

I have been thinking of chicken pot pie lately and how comforting it is. What do pop tarts and pot pie have in common? Nothing, except I decided to make a chicken pot pie pop tart and instead of icing drizzled over the top, I’m giving my pop tart a peas and carrot sauce and a cute little cranberry sauce chicken cut-outs. Don’t ask me why but when I have pot pie, I want cranberry sauce; always have, always will and of course, I always want some type of slaw.  The three are inseparable and it wouldn’t hurt to throw in some mashed potatoes.

So, you don’t have to make a pop tart from these ingredients. It’s much easier to pop everything in a pan for a large pot pie. I always use just the broth the chicken cooks in to make the gravy but this time I added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream and I really liked the results. Boiled eggs are a must for the pop pie and when you cook your chicken, do not use boneless chicken parts. Use the whole chicken, debone it and then save the broth for making the filling.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Prosciutto and Gruyere Palmiers are a great little appetizer to have in the freezer over the holidays.  So easy to make, can be frozen and baked at the last minute for hungry guests.

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Very simple ingredients. You can make your crust ahead of time and also have your chicken cooked, and deboned.

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Cook your onions in a couple tablespoons of oil until translucent.

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Roll your pastry out and cut into thin 1″ strips.

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You don’t have to put a bottom crust in. My mother always did but the bottom doesn’t get crisp like the top and ends up more like dumplings on the bottom.  If you do put the crust on the bottom, you don’t have to get fancy; just lay down some strips one way to partially cover bottom. Top with the shredded chicken.

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After adding the chicken, top with the cooked onions.

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Top with thawed peas and carrots then sliced boiled eggs.

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Put all the broth in a saucepan and dilute with a little water if it looks like you might need more broth.  Take about 3 tablespoons of the cornstarch and mix with about 2-3 tablespoons of water. Stir this into the simmering broth to make gravy like consistency. You may need to add more cornstarch mixture. You don’t want it too thick but thicken slightly. Then pour enough of this gravy over the top of the pop pie to almost cover.

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Take one long strip and lay down center and then one cross strip.

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Next just start weaving the strips, laying one down and lifting the other so you have an over/under pattern.

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After I have covered the top with strips, I cut out pastry shapes using my leaf cutters.

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My cute little pot pie.  I cut it about 7″x 4-5″ and put only the chicken, onion, peas and carrots and a small amount of gravy in the center.

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Hot out of the oven and ready to eat.

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I put the pot tart in the center of the plate and surround it with some of the gravy that I had added peas, carrots and eggs to.  Don’t you just love my chicken cranberry cutouts.

Chicken Pot Pie Pop Tart

Crust:
(Joy of Cooking)

2 1/2 c. plain flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4 c. shortening, chilled

Filling:

5-6 c. chicken broth
3-4 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 chicken, cut up, boiled (save broth) to make 4 c. cooked chicken shredded or chopped
1 pkg. frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
4 boiled eggs, chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
pinch nutmeg

Crust:

In a bowl of food processor, combine flour and salt. Add in the shortening and pulse a few times until shortening is in big pieces. Add the butter and continue to pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-size pieces. Do not let the mixture soften and begin to clump; it must remain dry and powdery.

Drizzle 6 tablespoons ice water over the fat and flour mixture. Pulse a few more times until mixture has come together to form a ball. Divide dough in half, press to form a disk  and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.  The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw completely before rolling if frozen.

After cooking the chicken, chop or shred and set aside. Thicken the broth with the cornstarch mixture.  You can add 1/2 cup of heavy cream now if you like, it will make a creamier sauce. If you have too much broth you can always serve it as gravy on the side.

Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Set aside.

To put the pot pie together, divide the dough in half and roll out to about 1/8″ thickness, cut into 1/2-3/4″ strips. You can lay some strips in the bottom of casserole if you want but these will not get crisp; they will be more like dumplings (but still good). Lay all the chicken in the bottom of the dish, top with the sautéed onions and then the thawed peas and carrots. Slice up the boiled eggs and scatter over the top of the pot pie. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour enough thickened broth over the top to almost cover. You do not want totally covered as it will bubble out of pan.

Now, cover with the crust.

Start weaving the crust by laying a strip across the center and then one lengthwise. Then continue laying down strips to form basket pattern. You will have to lift the strips as you go to get the every other over under pattern. I watched a few YouTube videos to see if I could find you a good example but I like the way my sister does her’s the best; starting in the middle and working your way out. Turn under the ends around the edge of the dish and you can crimp with a fork if you want.

Bake in 350° oven for about 30-40 minutes or until nice and browned. Serve with extra gravy to pour over pot pie.

Delicious served with mashed potatoes, some type of cole slaw and of course cranberry sauce.

TO MAKE INDIVIDUAL POP TART POT PIES:

I cut two pieces of crust to about 7 x5″. I took about 3/4-1 cup filling and mixed with just a little of the thickened broth. You can’t make it too runny because it will cook out. Top with second piece of crust. Cut 2-3 slots into the top to vent steam. You can cut out designs to decorate the top. Bake at 350° also until brown and crisp. Serve in dish and pour gravy over top. I mixed some additional peas, carrots, and eggs in with the gravy, put that in a pasta bowl or plate with an edge and put the pot pie pop tart in the center.

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