Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tentacle Pot Pie for Halloween

Halloween is howling on our doorsteps and it's time to gather the ingredients for our traditional 'trick-or-treat' meal. (What do you eat on Halloween?)

Tentacle pot pie sounds and looks rather devilish, but it's really chicken pot pie in a costume. And, bonus, it is very easy to make. You gotta try this!

Ingredients for 4-6 Servings:
  • 6 tbsps. butter
  • 4 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup cut green beans
  • Black olives or other foods to make eyes and a face (optional)
  • 2 pkgs of puff pastry sheets--thawed (if going for 4 servings, you can get away with 1 pkg.)

Notes: Have the broth and cream measured out and ready to go--you will be moving fast. 

You will also need to have a whisk handy to avoid flour lumps in the sauce.

I like to make the pie filling a day ahead and then assemble the tentacles the day of--this makes for a low stress Halloween meal.

Don't forget to set the puff pastry out to thaw about a half hour before you need it!

Left over pot pie filling can be topped with regular biscuits for another meal a few days later.

1.In a large saucepan, saute chicken and 3 tbsps. butter until done. Remove from pan and set aside. (Alternately, you can cook chicken in advance in crock pot and shred with a fork--this is a nice time saver.)

2.Add remaining 3tbsps. butter to pan along with onion and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent. Approximately 10 minutes.

3.Add the flour and stir until incorporated. About a minute.

4.Add the chicken stock and stir with whisk to avoid flour lumps.

5.Now add the cream, chicken, peas and beans. Cook until sauce thickens.

6. Preheat oven to 375F while you assemble the tentacle pot pies.

7.Fill ramekins or other small oven-proof dish with pot pie filling and place on a foil covered cookie sheet.

8.Cut long strips of puff pastry to make the tentacles and arrange around the ramekin as if they are coming out of the pie and spilling over the sides.

Note:If you make your tentacles too skinny they will burn. Aim for fat tentacles.

9.Use a drinking glass to cut a circle of puff pastry dough for the body and bake on a separate sheet-- they never quite get done if you put them in the ramekins.  (Place them on top right before serving.)

10.Cook until puff pastry is done, about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on this as the bodies will probably finish first and need to be pulled out of the oven.

Carefully remove from pan and place on a plate to support the ends of the tentacles. Add the body and serve!

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