I feel like Carla and I are in some way related. She has that super curly hair, as do I, she’s based in the DC/Virginia Area, which I am from, and she loves to cook home-style food. Yes, I acknowledge that the reason I love this food is partially due to my southern roots, but I also love the way you feel when you eat it. It’s like a hug in a bowl.

One episode in particular, Carla wins the chance to cook Chicken Pot Pie for Jimmy Kimmel. And she LOSES it. Goes crazy with happiness. Not because it’s Jimmy Kimmel, which yes, is cool, but because it’s CHICKEN POT PIE. I would lose it too. There is something about gravies and grits, dumplings and puff pastry that make everything alright. Like, how can you not feel amazing after being presented with sweet potato soufflé with marshmallows? Or a big bowl of hush puppies and gumbo?

In honor of all things comfort food, here is Carla’s Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. It’s a little complicated, but worth it. As I’m sure most of you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can boil the chicken on a low temperature to infuse the flavors. Rather just watch Rick Moonen make it? Check it out here.

Chicken Pot Pie by Carla Hall (Top Chef All Stars)

Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup water

Method:

1.Chill bowl and paddle of KitchenAid standing mixer.

2.Dissolve salt and sugar into water. Place in fridge.

3.Toss butter pieces in flour and coat each side. With the mixer on low, cut butter into flour. Pour water into mixer all at once. Increase speed to medium and mix until a dough is formed.

4. Divide dough into 8 parts, form into discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough 1/8” thick. Trim dough into 4” rounds. Place dough rounds on top of greased balls of aluminum foil covered with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water.) using some of the dough scraps, make a small balls. Place balls on parchment lined sheet pans and place the dough scraps on a second sheet pan. Bake at 400 until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool, and carefully remove the dome from the ball.

Chicken Filling

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2-inch moons
  • 6 ribs celery, halved lengthwise and cut on the bias into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 4 onions, diced
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 whole chicken, 2 pounds each, broken down into 6 pieces

Method:

1. In an 8-quart pressure cooker, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil. Sauté half the onions, carrots, and celery with half the thyme, rosemary and sage for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 2 quarts chicken stock, add chicken breasts. Bring the stock to a simmer and place lid on pressure cooker. Cook for 30 minutes and remove from heat. Allow pot to cool before opening lid. Run cold water on the top if need be.

2. Remove breasts and set aside. Strain the broth into the large rondeau with the other vegetables and place the vegetables onto a sheet pan to cool. Remove the herbs.

3. When the chicken meat is cool enough to handle, tear it into bite size pieces. Set aside.

Chicken Veloute

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 ounces flour
  • 10 ounces frozen baby peas
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

1. In the meantime, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in another large rondeau (large saucepan).

2. Sauté the other half of the onions, carrots, and celery with the other half of the thyme, rosemary and sage for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 2 quarts chicken stock, add chicken bones from carcasses, wings and dark meat (legs and thighs). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes. Strain. Note: Remove dark meat when meat starts to pull away from the bones, about 45 minutes. Set aside. When the meat is cool enough to handle, tear it into bite-size pieces. Combine with the breast meat.3. In same pot, melt butter then whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot stock. Bring to a boil then simmer. Mixture should be the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in heavy cream. Bring to a boil again, then simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Garnish

  • 10 baby carrots each, with 1-inch tops, halved lengthwise and roasted
  • Dehydrated peas, powdered with salt
  • 10 leaves sage, fried
  • 10 sprigs thyme, fried

Method:

1.In a medium-sized pot, combine the pulled chicken pieces, vegetables and enough sauce to generously coat the veggies. Reheat until hot, then stir in peas.

2. Place dough scraps in the bottom of individual bowls. Spoon chicken mixture on top, then ladle more sauce, if necessary. Top with the dough cloche. Place the fried herbs and roasted carrots on the side of each dish. Sprinkle the rim with the pea salt. Enjoy!

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