Review of Good Eats: A Bird in the Pie is Worth Two in the Bush

(Last Updated On: March 22, 2011)

good_eats_logo Chicken pot pie is a dish that is commonly found on the American table. Unfortunately most people get theirs out of a frozen box that is full of unnecessary fat and enough salt for an entire day. In a new episode of Good Eats that aired last night, Alton Brown shows the viewer how to prepare 3 different types of pot pies. This isn’t the first time he has made a pot pie (he made a Curry Chicken Pot Pie in the episode “Casserole Over”, but this is the first show dedicated to the subject.

Medieval Game Hen Pot Pie | Click here for the full recipe

This type of pot pie is meant to take you back to a time where the dough itself was the only cooking vessel people used. The entire Cornish game hen is cooked inside a pie crust, along with dried fruit. To bring the dough together Alton used hot water with the fat already melted in. The hot water helps to hydrate the flour, which makes the dough easier to work with. The fat will help keep the dough from becoming too elastic. Alton says often when a dish like this was cooked, the meat was enjoyed by the upperclass, while the servants ate the outer crust. The crust soaks up the flavor from the dish, but it might tend to be on the harder side, so it may be good exercise for your teeth. It’s interesting to see what people did in the past, but I do know if this recipe has a future in my kitchen.

Individual Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry | Click here for the full recipe

This recipe is a bit more modern. You take sliced up boneless skinless chicken and cook it through in a cast iron skillet. Then add the chopped up vegetables. Then flour, chicken broth or stock, and milk is added to make a creamy sauce. For the topping, Alton makes his own puff pastry. I am pretty sure in a previous episode he said it’s too hard to make yourself, but I think he changed his mind or found a short cut. To make the puff pastry, he combined flour, butter, and salt. He froze them in a bag in the freezer for an hour. Everything must be super cold for it to turn out right. That includes adding ice cold water to bring the dough together and using a cold pack onto of a sheet pan if the butter starts to melt. Check out the link to the recipe to see how he folds the dough, it involves several steps. Now this dish is meant to be made into individual servings. It serves 4. I wonder how well it would do if you wrapped it up and froze it to cook at a later time.

Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie | Click here for the full recipe

This is meant to be the breakfast option as it contains sausages and biscuits. It contains shredded chicken as well as chicken sausage. Once the meat and sauce is prepared, you add the biscuits on top and bake in the oven inside a cast iron skillet. The biscuits contain white cheddar and some herbs. If you wanted to, you could just bake the biscuits on their own.

So if you have gotten worn out on the same old chicken pot pie, then give one of these recipes a try.