I always fine that my best ideas come to me at the most random of times, like this one for Mini Mexican Chicken Pot Pies. I had been fixated on pot pies for a while for some reason which I thought was weird because I have never been a big fan but one day, probably while browsing the internet, the idea popped into my head to make Mexican chicken style pot pies. Since my go to chicken prep is some version of my Taco Truck Chicken I thought it would be great to use some version of that as the filling for the pot pie, I jotted this idea down in my notebook and that was that I figured I would get around to making them you know someday… So this past weekend when I was going through my cookbooks looking for some pulled pork inspiration and came across the pot pie recipe in Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller and decided that I was going to try out my chicken pot pie idea right there and then. I set off to the grocery store which is were the mini idea came about. I was looking for small pie pans, because I was only cooking for my self I did not want to make a giant pot pie that would be too much for one serving and would not save very well and of course the grocery store did not have small pie tins (I was basically looking for tart pans) but they did have muffin pans which is when it hit me that making mini pot pies would be perfect (which they were). Using the muffin pans meant that the pies could easily be portion controlled and the leftovers can be frozen for a quick dinner or lunch for another day.
While the inspiration for this recipe came from Ad Hoc in the end I did not use any part of the recipe from the book, I only used it as a guide for the parts needed in the final pies. All in all I think these Mini Pot Pies turned out great and while amazing as a main dish they would be also be a super great appetizer for a dinner party!
MINI MEXICAN CHICKEN POT PIES
Makes 12 Mini Pies, Serves 12 as an appetizer and 4-6 as a main dish
1 Recipe Chicken (see recipe below)
1 Recipe Pie Crust prepped into rounds for pan (see recipe below)
1 Recipe of Bechamel Sauce (see recipe below, the recipe will yield a bit more sauce than you need, the leftovers would be great as a quick pasta sauce)
1/2 Cup Corn Kernels (either fresh cooked or frozen defrosted)
1 x 12- Muffin Tin or 2 x 6- Muffin Tin
1 Egg and water for egg wash (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees
Take the disks of your pie dough that you rolled out for the bottom of the pies out of the refrigerator leaving the rounds for the top
In each of the muffin cups place in one of the rounds, centering it with the pan and press down the center and out so that the round fits the cup just like making a pie, repeat for all the muffin cups
In each mini pie put about a Tablespoon of corn you can put more or less to your taste.
On top of the corn add in your chicken mix to each cup until the cup is filled to the top.
Pour or spoon over the chicken enough of the bechamel so that it comes almost to the top of the cup, making sure that it does not over flow.
Take the rounds for the tops of the pies out of the refrigerator and place one on each cup.
Crimp the lid to the bottom pie crust as best you can (as you can see mine were kind of messy but it worked)
Slice the top of each pie with a knife so that the steam can escape when they are cooking
If you want a crust that is more golden brown in color make an egg wash with an egg and some water and brush over the top of each pie (I did not do this because I did not have an egg on hand but it would have been nice for color)
Put the pies in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, cooking until the crust is golden brown
Remove from the oven and cool slightly and serve! You can store any left overs in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or freeze them for another day!
MEXICAN CHICKEN POT PIE FILLING
This recipe is a modified version of my basic Taco Truck Chicken which is my go to chicken preparation it is easy and so versatile. This version is not as spicy as the basic version, in fact is not really spicy at all the poblano pepper adds a lot of flavor but is not spicy pepper.
1/2 Medium Onion Sliced
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Large Poblano Pepper Diced
1 Medium Tomato Diced
1/4 Cup Cilantro Chiffonaded
1 Whole Chicken Thigh or 3 Thigh pieces
1 Tbsp Valentino Hot Sauce (Franks Red Hot would work too)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 12oz Lager Beer (I used Yuengling)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Medium Sauce Pan
Lid to fit Sauce Pan
Place chicken on a clean plate and salt vigorously
In your medium sauce pan over low heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, once the oil is heated add onion and garlic and salt thoroughly and sweat for about 5 minutes keeping the heat low, stirring occasionally to keep the onion from burning
Add in the diced poblano pepper and sweat with the onion mix for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the tomato, hot sauce, cilantro, and salt + pepper to taste
Stir everything together and cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add chicken on top of the vegetable mix and add beer
Cover the pot with the lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through
Once the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board
Leave the sauce pan on the stove and turn up the heat to high and reduce the liquid down down to about a quarter of the current volume, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning
While the liquid is reducing, shred the chicken using your fork.
Once the liquid has reduced down to about a quarter of the original volume add the chicken back in and mix together.
Turn off the heat and use as needed
This is a basic 3:2:1 pie dough from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
12 oz All Purpose Flour (about 2 3/4 cups)
8 oz Butter (make sure it is very very cold)
About 3 oz Ice Cold Water (amount needed will depend on the butter and flour)
about 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
2-3″ Biscuit Cutter
In the mixing bowl combine Flour and Butter with your hands, breaking the butter into small pea sized pieces
Once the butter and flour are mixed together add salt and pour in a little bit of water at a time until the dough comes together, do not mix the dough to much so that it does not get too tough
Split the dough in half and shape into disks, put the dough in the refrigerator for it to cool back down
Once the dough is cold again take out one of the disks and roll out until it is about 3/8″ thick.
Take your biscuit cutter and cut as many rounds as you can get out of the dough. Re Roll out the scraps and Cut as many more Circles as you can get. The one disk should yield about 12-13 rounds.
Place the rounds back in the refrigerator and repeat with the second disk.
Take the first 12-13 rounds and roll each one out a bit more until they are about 1/4″ in thickness. These will be the bottom of the pot pies. Return to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Take the second set of rounds and roll out just so they are big enough to cover the top of the muffin tin for the pies. Once rolled out return to the refrigerator.
I followed the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking and while I could never do as good as a job of explaining how to make a bechamel as Julia Child and crew can I have given my own version of the directions below but If you really want a through and complete explanation defiantly check out the book.
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Tsp Salt
Salt & Pepper to taste
Medium Sauce Pan
Small Sauce Pan
Heat milk and salt in small sauce pan until hot and set aside
In the medium sauce pan over medium low heat melt butter and mix in flour
Cook over low heat stirring until the butter and flour start to bubble and froth
Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring making sure to not let the mixture does not darken
One the mix stops bubbling remove from the heat and you now have a Blond Roux
Pour in all the hot milk and whisk vigorously
Put sauce pan back over medium heat and stir with whisk until the sauce comes to a boil
Once it is boiling cook for 1 minute longer while stirring continuously
Take off the heat and salt and pepper to taste, use right away or cover with plastic