flakey prosciutto chicken pot pie

flakey spelt pot pie

I had a chicken carcass from a roast dinner with family and friends the other night along with some lovely left over gravy and pan drippings, and I set out to make good ‘ol chicken noodle soup, but had a hankering to bake something lovely, with this urge I decided to make a flakey spelt pie crust and bring together a thick and savory chicken pot pie with roast potatoes cabbage and slivers of prosciutto ham.  This is so funny;  we haven’t had TV for years and years and years and only just got good internet out here in the bush so over this holiday time I have been knitting and streaming food porn, mainly master chef. I watched the first 3 seasons in the last 2 weeks, so now as I cook anything I can here Ramsey addressed each of my steps. “Just look at that pastry… flakey, golden… it’s (dramatic pause) absolutely perfect” I can here him saying.  Master chef, that is a reality show I would love to rock! But enough about Gordon, lets talk about pot pie. You can make a bang up veggie pot pie, in fact I do that more often, as we only roast a couple chickens a year in this kitchen. Mushrooms, onions, potatoes, carrots, peas, and squash slowly simmered in a thick mushroom gravy,  all makes for a divine pot pie. Tonight I veered from the veggie train and assembled a luscious lemon infused herb chicken gravy that you could literally eat with a spoon.

I always pull out my baking bible ( The art and soul of baking) for pastry tasks that fall outside of my go-to’s. Pie crust is one of those things I rarely ever make. So I  went with a classic butter technique and while the book has 3 pages on how to and how not to I will summarize how I ended up with the most pillowy flakey buttery crust ever.

Pie crust prep

cut 4oz of cold butter into 1 cm cubes and freeze on a plate for 20 minutes

place 3/4 of a cup of cold water in the fridge for the same period of time

In a processor pulse together:

1 1/4 cup of white spelt flour

1 tsp sea salt (add 1 tbsb cane sugar if your making a sweet pie)

When 20 minutes has elapsed

add butter to processor and pulse 10 times for 1 second incraments

your mixture should look like crumbled crackers and peas

remove from processors and pour into a large bowl, add 1 tbsp of the cold water and fluff into the crumble, repeat 2 more times before testing dough; If you can pick up a handful and squeeze tougher a mass that holds your ready to move on to the next step, if it’s still too crumbly add one more tbsp of water and fluff again.

The mixture will still look like an awful mess but fear not if a handful will bind, your in good shape. Place mix on a surface and press and combine into a small disk shape. Using a rolling pin press and roll until you have about a 7-8 inch circle. bundle this disk into parchment paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Remove from fridge and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes, then using a rolling pin and working quickly (so as to keep the butter cold) roll into a large piece of dough. final working size should be about 1/8″ thick. You should still see small butter bits throughout the dough (this is what will cause all the flakey pockets)

This is enough dough for 1 pie crust plus a couple decorative bits, you’ll have to double this batch to do a top and bottom crust.

To assemble a killer chicken pot pie: 

Start the way you would start a batch of soup; carcass, onions, celery, garlic & herbs boiling away for as long as you can spare.

About 2 hours befor you want to eat, strain carcus and aromatics from the broth and start the broth onto boil,

Add in all your root veggies cut into similar sized bits.

Clean the carcass and strained material adding back in all the nice bits of meat.

Season with sage, rosemary, thyme,  parsley and S+P

My original chicken was roasted with a couple lemon halves so those grilled lemon bits ended up seasoning my broth really nicely.

Once the potatoes are cooked through (and your pie crust is ready for a final roll in the fridge) using a slotted spoon (or strainer)

separate all the veggies and bits from the broth again.

In a nice cast pot load all of the veggie and meat bits into the bottom, add in peas or corn as desired along with ribbons of cured prosciutto.

time to thicken the broth.

In your pan start by melting a good knob of butter and or oil, to that add about 3/4 -1 cup of spelt flour and using a disk combine until you have a paste cook the paste for about 4 minutes (do not brown) , to the paste add your stock 2 cups at a time. It will thicken rapidly so make sure to continue whisking aggressively. I used about 4 cups of broth to 1 cup of flour in my roux and yielded a hearty amount of thick and luscious gravy. You may choose to add a splash of wine or cream to this. Be sure to taste and make any final seasoning adjustments at this time, then pour gravy over mixture in the pot, ensure it seeps into every nook and cranny.

Pre heat your oven to 375 and set your pot in the fridge to cool… yes thats right you don’t want to add your pie crust to a hot mix or you will not get the lovely flakey finish everyone desires.

After 15 minutes or so, it would be a good time to do your final pastry crust roll out.

Assemble crust over your pot and decorate using a cookie cutter if you desire. Brush with milk or and egg yoke and milk and bake for 55 minutes, or until deeply golden and glistening.

Serve hot and enjoy.

flakey star

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