Two of my favorite ingredients are back together again. You guessed it. Chicken and andouille. And this time, I’ve turned to them (along with okra) to put a distinctive South Louisiana spin on a classic American comfort food–the Chicken Pot Pie. This version–with it’s peanut butter roux, rich chicken stock, sassy splash of cream, roasted-to-perfection chicken and andouille sausage and big bursts of okra pods–is like no other. It’s comforting and indulgent and unique. I also tweaked my traditional trinity by using a red bell pepper instead of green (a trick I learned from Chef John Folse). That subtle substitution works beautifully in this recipe. It add sweetness, a nice toothsome bite and a welcoming splash of color.
Growing up, the only chicken pot pies I ever ate were the frozen ones from Swanson. I loved those things especially since my mom let me eat them in the living room on TV trays while watching Star Trek. Woohoo! Those were the days. When the idea for this recipe came to mind, I shared that Swanson’s story with my own kids who, up to this writing, cannot fully comprehend what TV trays are (or Star Trek for that matter). But they sure liked the fact that Grandma let me eat dinner while sitting on the sofa planted squarely in front of the television. In this house, food does not leave the kitchen, so that’s a novel idea to them. But with our open floor plan, the TV is always in view. My kids just don’t realize how good they have it.
Before you tackle this recipe, I suggest you first decide on your crust preference. If you have an old faithful pie crust recipe that you rely on for sweet and savory dishes, by all means use it. If you’re crunched for time, the pre-made refrigerated crusts are a great way to go. And if you want to try something a little different and have a few extra minutes to spare, give my Pecan Pie Crust a shot. The ground pecans add a pleasant nuttiness to the crust and, being that pecans are a Louisiana staple, they also help to distinguish this version of chicken pot pie from all the rest.
Chicken and Andouille Pot Pies Recipe
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 whole (6 split) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound andouille sausage
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups hot chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 12-ounce package frozen okra
1 12-ounce package frozen corn
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Pecan Pie Crust or 1 14.1-ounce package refrigerated pie crusts
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix; set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange chicken breasts and andouille in a single layer in a roasting pan. Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (andouille does not need any additional fat or seasoning). Bake, uncovered, until sausage is browned and chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Once chicken and andouille are cool enough to handle, blot excess fat with paper towels and dice. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven, preferably cast iron, make a roux by heating the canola oil over high heat. Gradually add flour whisking carefully and vigorously after each addition until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until roux is the color of peanut butter. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook, whisking constantly, until vegetables are tender, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, okra, corn, green onions and reserved chicken, andouille and seasoning mix. Ladle into eight 12-ounce ramekins (or two 2-quart baking dishes). Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 8 circles 1-inch wider than ramekins. Place one circle atop each ramekin crimping edges over sides to seal. Cut vents in dough. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling around the edges, about 45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.