Pi Day is a special day to celebrate! I did not realize this until yesterday! The truth is, I had no plans of celebrating it, nor did I have plans of making a pie for the Serious Eats contest until . . . . . . I realized I should celebrate every Pi Day for the rest of my life. My children do not live very close to me and I do not get to see them as often as I would like. I miss them very much. A few days ago my son called and mentioned he would be visiting me next month. I can't tell you how excited that made me. So I have been trying to think of something I can do to surprise him when he arrives.
A couple of years ago my son completed his doctorate in statistics. He is a mathematician! My son and I have great fun sharing recipes. What a splendid way to share a recipe with him that honors his achievements! I made extra and have it in the freezer so when he comes to visit me next month, he will have a Pi In The Sky Chicken Pot Pi! That is one thing I love about instructables. I can share the things that I am doing here and hopefully instructables will be around when my future grandchildren can visit my page and see my projects. I do not keep a journal so in a way instructables is a journal.
Follow through and I will show you how to make a Chicken pot pie in the shape of a yellow chicken! The kids will enjoy this for Easter and there is plenty of time to make sure you have all the ingredients for the occasion! You can do this with any simple shapes. The recipe is very tasty and healthier than store bought.
Here is a link I found about mathematicians celebrating Pi Day: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2009/03/14/1A_PI_DAY.ART_ART_03-14-09_D1_UMD6SUU.html
Step 1: Notes
I have never made this type of pot pie before so please read everything. I had to make 2 batches because, I was experimenting how to pull this off. I have never seen colored pie crust or a chicken shaped pie before, so that is what I decided to make for the contest.
The chicken shape was a little more difficult to make but if a person had a large cookie cutter or made their own design in a large size, it would be easier to work with. I used craft foam to cut out a larger chicken which worked out fairly well but I am not all that great at cutting shapes from dough so I was not happy with the look.
The baby chicks were cut out using a small cookie cutter and I baked the shapes like you would cookies with no filling. I used 2 different methods of coloring. I tried egg yokes and egg whites and both had the same results. I thought it was easier to color the chicks before baking although I did color some of the chicks after they were baked to a light brown color and it worked. Coloring the large chicken is best done before baking, but you can color after baking however, you risk damaging the chicken or browning the chicken too much to achieve a bright color. I loved the method of painting the crust because not a lot of food coloring was used and I did not need to mix coloring into the dough.
I used the food writers to write on the plate and make designs. They did not color the dough very well because I put the dough in the freezer to hold their shape while they were painted. They might work if the dough is not as cold??
Step 2: Ingredients and Supplies for the Pie Dough and Filling
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Sticks unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/4 Cup to 1/2 cup (depending on how much you need) ice water
1-2 eggs to mix coloring and brush the tops of these before baking
Food coloring or food writers optional
Pepper corns for eyes or color with black food coloring
If making this from scratch you will need rolling pen, measuring cups, spoons, fork, bowls, large to extra large cookie cutters,small cookie cutters or candy molds for chicks, Pot pie cardboard containers, zip lock bags or Saran wrap,cutting board, and a cookie sheet. It is helpful to have a tooth pick or something to finish the edge of the crust.
In the pictures you will see craft foam and a few other things. Depending on what you have on hand will determine if you might want to use these items.
3 Cups fresh or frozen vegetables (I added 1 stick of diced celery, O'Brian cubed hash browns, and a few mushrooms to the frozen to make a full 3 cups.
1/3 Cup butter
1/3 Cup flour
2 Garlic cloves
1/4 Cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (added after filling the chicken with sauce)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 3/4 Cup chicken broth "Homemade is the best but I was out."
2/3 Cup milk I use canned milk
Thyme sprigs for garnish
Step 3: Pie Dough
Prepare your dough, in your mixing bowl or food processor, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
Then add cubed butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Then, while mixing, begin adding the ice water.
Add enough of it for a dough to form.
Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While you wait go on to the next step.
Step 4: Pie Filling Measure and Dicing Ingredients
Step 5: Sauce
Cook the vegetables in the chicken broth until just tender.
Remove the vegetables reserving the broth for the sauce.
Put the seasonings and flour into a jar and mix.
Then add the room temperature milk and cooled broth and cover tightly with a lid and shake until no lumps are seen.
Saute the garlic and butter in a skillet.
Slowly add broth mixture and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
Add cooked vegetables and the cubed chicken to the sauce and stir.
Set aside until ready to fill the pies.
Step 6: Roll the Dough and Cut Out the Shapes
Cut out the shapes. ( I found the chicken shapes worked better if the tops were slightly thicker than you would normally make.
I filled the leaf molds with dough to make the leaves.
To make a larger chicken mold I outlined the cookie cutter on the craft foam and cut it out.
Then I placed the dough on parchment paper and used the chicken shape as a guide to outline the chicken using the food marker and cut out the shape with the cooking scissors.
After the shapes were cut out; I placed the shapes on a floured plate and put them in the freezer until they hardened.
I placed the leaves in the candy mold in the freezer to harden.
Step 7: Painting the Dough Shapes
Then I used my fingers and a tooth pick to paint the shapes.
I used a pepper corn for the eye after it was baked but you can paint it.
Step 8: Filling the Dough Shapes
Press down any vegetables that form a lump.
Smooth out the sauce leaving a small section of dough around the chicken to be pressed.
Make slits in the chicken top for the steam to release. I made wings or poked holes for this.
Place the chicken top over the chicken bottom.
Very carefully press the edges to seal the bird, using a flat point or tiny fork.
Step 9: Bake
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes watching it closely after 10 minutes. Don't over brown the chicken.
Remember the chicken is fully cooked so we are just cooking the pie dough and cooking the vegetables a little longer.
Bake the smaller shapes about 5-8 minutes watching closely.
For the individual serving of pot pie I baked it at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes watching it closely.
To make the cap I colored a slice of mushroom and made a tassel from string.
My husband likes a lot of sauce so I put some sauce in a small dipping dish so he could have extra and I could still serve the pretty little chicken for the plating look!
Step 10: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
I will be making these again. They were so cute. If you have any questions please post a comment or PM me. Meanwhile, I hope you will share pictures if you make this. Thanks for stopping by and I hope spring will bring you much happiness! Thanks to all who make this a great place to share!
Participated in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest