Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie has always been a comforting cold weather dish that hubby likes to have as soon as the weather turns and the throw blanket becomes a regular fixture on the couch.

It can be quite bland sometimes, so I decided to spice it up.

Literally.

This pot pie recipe is really just a standard pot pie with an extra spice included.

Ras El Hanout.

Ras El Hanout in Arabic is loosely translated to "top of the shop". 

Every spice merchant has their own version of Ras El Hanout, which is comprised of the best and highest quality spices the merchant has. As such, Ras El Hanout varies in flavor and each spice merchant claims to have the best.

Of course they do.

I have some Ras El Hanout mixtures I got in Morocco (where this spice mix first originated) but I decided to use the one I got from Williams-Sonoma so that the flavors are consistent and it's easier to find. 

Here are the ingredients in the Williams-Sonoma version incase you want to try to make your own Ras El Hanout. Warning, it's quite a mixture.

Insanely good though, it's not too many things where it just tastes muddy. It's really well balanced and not like curry at all incase you were wondering.

It's warm and savory and a tiny bit sweet (in a cinnamon kind of way, not like sugar sweet, if that makes any sense).

Anyway, the first step is to make the savory pie dough:

Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling.

Begin by browning the chicken. This step gives the pot pie a richer flavor, so it's worth the trouble in my opinion.

While the chicken is browning, cut up your mirepoix (carrots, onions and celery).

Once the chicken is browned, set it aside while you lightly brown the mirepoix.

Once the mirepoix is lightly browned add it to the chicken and then melt the butter in the same pan, add the flour and combine to make a roux.

Once you have your roux, cook it for about a minute or so and then add the Ras El Hanout and chicken stock.

Cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line.

Taste and adjust seasoning (S+P) to your liking.

You want the sauce a bit thicker than you actually want it because it will thin out when cooking in the oven. (It will tighten up again a bit as it cools but won't be as thick as it is before it goes in the oven).

Combine chicken, mirepoix, peas and sauce together.

Wonder what he wants?

Set the pot pie filling aside and roll out the pie crust.

Transfer filing into a pie dish and cover with the pie crust.

Cut off excess dough, crimp edges as desired and cut an opening in the center.

Brush with egg wash or milk/cream and season liberally with coarse salt and black pepper.

Don't forget to cover the pie edges so they don't burn!

Bake at 350F until golden brown and bubbly.

"Every step you take, every thing you bake, I'll be watching you." - the dog

"drool" - the human

 

RECIPE

Ingredients:

Savory Pie Crust
1 stick butter, cold and cubed
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3-5 tbsp ice water
1 tsp (or more) ground coriander

Pie Filling
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 large carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix (I used Williams-Sonoma brand)
2 cups chicken stock
S+P, to taste

Directions:

Savory Pie Crust

Throw all ingredients (except ice water) into a food processor (or bowl and use a pastry cutter) and cut butter into flour until it is the size of peas.

Add water a tbsp at a time and combine to see if dough holds shape when pressed together. Add just enough water to achieve that.

Form dough into a thick disc, cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Remove from fridge and roll out on a floured surface. You want the crust a little larger than the pie dish.

Bake at 350F until golden brown. Cover edges with foil during most of the cooking to prevent over browning.

Pie Filling

Cut the chicken breast into cubes, season with S+P and brown in a hot oiled pan.

Once browned, set the chicken aside and cook the onions, carrots and celery in the same pan until the onions are lightly browned. Remove the veggies and add the butter to the pan.

Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until combined. Cook this mixture (a.k.a. roux, pronounced "roo") for about a minute to make sure the raw flour taste is cooked off.

Slowly add the stock, whisking until combined. Add the Ras El Hanout and stir. Simmer until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with your finger. (See images in post above.) Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat.

Now combine everything, the chicken, veggies, frozen peas and sauce. Place in a pie dish and cover with the rolled out pie crust.

Brush crust with egg wash or milk/cream. Cut an opening in the center of the pie crust. Season with S+P, cover the edges and bake at 350F until crust is browned and mixture is bubbly. (Make sure to place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven because it may bubble over.

Make sure to let the pie rest for about 15-20 minutes after it comes out of the oven before you cut into it to give the sauce a chance to thicken and the meat a chance to rest.

Enjoy!