Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bacon, Swiss Chard and Chicken Pot Pie

Wow, I'm a terrible blogger. For those of you who don't know I took a new job back in July and have been travelling like a lunatic ever since. Hopefully now that I'm settled in and fall is here I can get back into the swing of things. In the meantime I have been keeping up with my posting schedule on So Good. Check me out there. I did have occasion to make a variation on an incredible looking dish from one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. I adore pot pies and I am guilty of now thinking out of the traditional chicken pot pie box myself.
Even though I added chicken to my variant the inspiration was her Pancetta, white bean and swiss chard pot pie.

I admit upfront I used up a piece of puff pastry as the top for this one, as much as I love making pie crust, we happened to have a piece in the fridge so I used it instead. 

Filling 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
4 ounces (115 grams or 3/4 to 1 cup) 1/4-inch-diced bacon
1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small celery root, finely chopped
Pinch of hot smoked paprika
Pinch of regular paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves from an 8- to 10-ounce (225- to 285-gram)
bundle (4 cups); if leaves are very wide, you can halve them lengthwise

1.5-2 cups choopped cooked chicken ( I used a store bought rotisserie chicken)
3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) butter
3 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) all- purpose flour
3 1/2 cups (765 ml)  low- sodium chicken broth (home made if you have it)

Make filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium- high heat in a large, wide saucepan, and then add the bacon. Crisp up the bacon and remove it with a slotted spoon, and drain it on paper towels before transferring to a medium bowl. Leave the heat on and the renderings in the pan. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed and heat it until it is shimmering. Add onions, carrot, celery root, paprika and a few pinches of salt, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened and begin to take on color, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the greens and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer all of the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the bacon and chicken, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Make sauce: Wipe out the large saucepan; don’t worry if any bits remain stuck to the bottom. Then melt the butter in the saucepan over medium- low heat. Add the flour, and stir with a whisk until combined. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time, until it begins to take on a little color. Whisk in the broth, one ladleful at a time, mixing completely between additions. Once you've added one- third of the broth, you can begin to add the rest more quickly, two to three ladlefuls at a time; at this point you can scrape up any bits that were stuck to the bottom — they’ll add great flavor.
Once all of the broth is added, stirring the whole time, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is thickened and gravy like, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir chicken bacon and reserved vegetables into the sauce.

Assemble and cook pot pies: pour the filling into a deep pie plate . Set the plate on a baking pan. Roll out the pastry into  a round that will cover your plate with an overhang, of about 1 inch wider in diameter plate. Whisk the egg wash and brush it lightly around the top rim of your bowls (to keep the lid glued on; nobody likes losing their lid!) and drape the pastry over each, pressing gently to adhere it. Brush the lids with egg wash, then cut decorative vents  in each to help steam escape. Bake until crust is lightly bronzed and filling is bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy