Yesterday was Pi Day. If you have no knowledge of math this may make no sense. But Pi or π is a mathematical constant. Originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics. Pi is 3.14159265359 or briefly 3.14. Get it?
But how to celebrate Pi Day, well of course, with Pie!
At the beginning of the week I informed my Sweetie ( the head chef in our house) that I wanted to make dinner on Wednesday.
“Okay,” he said. “What are you making?” “Never you mind,” I said.
“Do you need anything from the store?” He said. “No.” I said. “It’s a surprise and that would just give it away.”
“Does it have something to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Or, with the Ides of March? Sure, that’s it, something Roman, Italian.” “No, no, and NO,” I said. “Just relax.”
Luckily he hadn’t thought of Pi Day. But geez, what a third degree. He really gets weirded out when I want to take over the (his) kitchen. Anyway I was making PIE. Chicken Pot Pie to be exact. And fruit pie for dessert. My pot pie was pretty basic except instead of pie crust I was using puff pastry which I think turned out way better. Here’s the recipe. I found it on the internet but did a few change-ups so this now my recipe.
Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
1 sheet of puff pastry ( I used Pepperidge Farm)
1 Tbls olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, cut into bite sized chunks.
1 cup diced celery
1 large potato, diced or just largish chunks
1 tsp fresh Thyme
2 cups chicken broth
4 Tbls butter
4 Tbls flour
3/4 lb cooked chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and freshly grd pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Butter your casserole dishes. I used two 5×7 pyrex dishes. Make sure your puff pastry is thawed enough to unfold. It should still be cold.
3. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan and add the onion, cook and stir 2-3 minutes until softened. Add carrots, celery, potato (if raw), and 1 cup broth. Add thyme. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer till vegetables are nearly tender. ( I think green beans, mushrooms, or peas would work well too).
My potato was cooked so I added it later.
4. Meanwhile heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and once melted, add the flour all at once. Whisk until combined. Then add in the other cup of broth and whisk till smooth. Cook and stir till the mixture thickens.
5. By now your vegetables should be tender so pour the sauce in with the vegetables and stir. Season with salt and pepper. If sauce doesn’t seem thick enough cook for a while longer, continuing to stir. At this point I added in my pre-boiled potato and my pre-cooked chicken. Stir to combine.
6. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dishes ( four 1 1/2 C dishes or in my case, two 3 C dishes).
7. Cut your puff pastry sheet to fit. A pizza cutter works really well. And you can piece your pastry if it won’t fit your pans exactly. At this point folks, my Sweetie certainly knew what was happening and of course, couldn’t help but insert himself into the kitchen. The ruler and the pizza cutter were his ideas so I didn’t complain…too much.
8. Top each dish with puff pastry. Note the extra piece on the right dish. It is just lying on top, no wetting the pastry underneath to make it stick.
9. Put the dishes on a cookie sheet to catch spills. Transfer to oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until pastry is puffy and golden brown. Once done. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
It turned out really good and we had one whole dish leftover for the next day. Also if you have any scraps of pastry left once you cover your dishes, bake them too. My Sweetie tied one strip in a knot and the other piece he sprinkled with coconut sugar. They baked for the same time.
And for dessert…store bought fruit half pies. Choice of blackberry or strawberry rhubarb. I went with the strawberry rhubarb, had the blackberry for breakfast.
Happy Pi(e) Day!