Chicken pot pie - help!
I have a lot of leftover turkey and by coincidence I also have a fair bit of puff pastry. I'd like to put the two together to make some kind of turkey pot pie/samosa/triangles type thing.
I would like to make them into reasonable sized entrees that I can haul out of the freezer on weeknights feed me and the kids dinner.
I dont work with pastry very much so I am wondering how best to do this.
One option would be to use the pastry as the top on a ramekin - but i'd like to freeze some of them and dont really want to freeze them in the ramekins.
I am considering lining a muffin tin, filling them and topping them - would the pastry hold up or fall apart?
I could make triangles - but they hold so little filling unless i make them big - and then they are more likely to fall apart.
What is the right answer?
Do you have a glass casserole dish or pie plate, like a Pyrex? That's probably your best bet. I made the same thing last week, and it worked out great (top crust only, and don't forget to cut a vent for steam).
I don't recommend the muffin cup route. I made quiche in them using puff pastry, and the pastry didn't get very crisp. I ended up popping the quiches out of the tin and briefly broiling them to brown and crisp them. That wouldn't work so well with a liquidy filling like pot pie.
I usually make a normal panfull (I prefer just crust on top but husband insists on bottom crust too) bake the crust for 5 or so minutes before adding the filling to get a little crisp: then after we eat the meal, I scoop out what's left and freeze portions in plastic freezer trays saved from various supermarket purchases. Wrap in plastic film and then heavy foil, and pull out later when needed. I've recently found that I much prefer normal pie crust over puff pastry most of the time, and especially when freezing. Puff pastry is sort of flaky, in a flaky kind of way.
re: Sam Fujisaka
Most recipes call for filling a casserole and placing the pastry on top. It looks great to present at the dinner table that night but gets beat to hell when you freeze. If you freeze together then it takes a lot of room, is impossible to keep from freezer burn and the re-heat is a bear.
So jfood deconstructs. He bakes the filling in a casserole without any pastry on top. He bakes the pastry on a sheet separately. Then he freezes postions of the filling in bag A and portions of the pastry in bag B. When he wants the dish a few weeks later, he reheats separately and introduces the bride and groom on the plate for the first time.
Works like a charm.
Earlier this week, I made several and froze them, with crusts attached to the top of single-serving deep aluminum pie tins, but jfood's way sounds like a better way. (Why didn't I think of that?) I'll just pop them into 375 oven for 50-60 minutes and hope they turn out as well as the last pot pie I made (not pre-frozen).
I would not go the muffin tin route--too hard to serve, I would think.
I do it in a casserole but I don't know why individual ones baked in ramekins or muffin tins or even tea cups wouldn't work just as well.
I steam my veggies in large chunks, toss them and still frozen baby peas with large chunks of poultry, add gravy and top with pastry, a biscuit crust or puff pastry.
I just made CPP today. For the leftovers, I cut into wedges when it's cool, so it keeps its shape better, wrap individual slices in heavy foil, then put all the wedges in a freezer bag. When i want a portion, I reheat in the oven with a slit cut in the foil.
My CPP filling isn't terribly loose/liquidy to begin with, so it keeps its shape fairly well once it's cool, and i pile it high so each wedge is a very hearty portion.
I just made CPP for company that was here last night and today froze my leftovers. Don't try to bake puff paste on the casserole per se as you might do with a biscuit crust. Bake your puff paste alone on a cookie sheet. Cut it to the size of the dish with the CPP in it and put it on before you serve. For leftovers, freeze the CPP mixture in serving-size dishes (leftover Stouffers containers are good) and freeze the crust separately. Actually this was the first time I have used puff paste for this (I used Pepperidge Farm) and I find I like the homemade baking powder biscuit crust better, baked on top of the pie which is already hot---I like to heat it in the microwave then put the biscuit on top and bake it long enough to bake the biscuit. Also I have used Pillsbury's Crescent Roll dough for a chicken or beef pie topping and that's pretty good too.
I'm not sure if this would work, but if you really want them to be ramekin size, then could you line the ramekins with something like waxed paper or buttered parchment, or even buttered or oiled plastic wrap? Fill and freeze, then pop them out and wrap them up for the freezer. When you want one (or two, or however many) you could put them back in the ramekins and MV them to thaw, and top them.
This all, of course, depends on being able to remove the liner after freezing or before reheating. Buttering them might work...or dipping them for a few moments into hot water before thawing. Or maybe, if you could, freeze it in a larger pan, then cut it into squares to store in the freezer?
If you cut the puff pastry to fit, freeze it and store it, you would have a topper for each pie, similar to what jfood mentioned.