Chicken Pot Pie with Pecan Crust

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Pecans add a hearty, robust flavor to pot pie. This recipe features pecan-flecked pie dough, savory bacon and bitter greens for a tasty take on a comfort food classic.


For the pie dough:

1/2 cup pecan pieces

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Ice water, to combine


For the chicken pot pie filling:

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 medium red onion, diced

3 pieces thick cut bacon

2 tablespoons reserved bacon grease

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/4 pounds chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup reduced-fat milk, plus 2 tablespooons for brushing pastry

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard

4 cups torn escarole leaves, or other sturdy bitter green


  1. To make the pecan-flecked pie dough: 
    1. Stir the flour, ground pecans, salt and sugar together in a bowl.
    2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender and firm strokes, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain.
    3. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the flour mixture. Mix and cut water into the flour with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.
    4. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining, 10 to 12 tablespoons total.
    5. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
    6. Shape the dough into two flat discs, one slightly larger than the other, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.
  2. To make the pecan crust: Butter a 9.5-inch pie pan. On a floured surface, roll the smaller dough disc into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter, fit into pie pan and refrigerate.
  3. Roll the larger dough disc into a circle approximately 15 inches in diameter. Using a small leaf shaped cookie cutter, cut 8 leaves, side-by-side from the very perimeter of the dough circle. Trim off rough edges to leave a dough circle large enough to top a 9-inch pie. Place dough and cutouts on a baking sheet and refrigerate.
  4. Meanwhile, make the chicken pot pie filling: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add red onions, and sauté 15 minutes or until caramel colored. Place onions in a bowl, and set aside.
  5. In the same skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towel and chop when cooled. Reserve two tablespoons bacon grease.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit and position an oven rack to the middle position.
  7. Combine all-purpose flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture.
  8. Whisk together chicken broth, milk and mustard in a bowl. In the same skillet used for the bacon, melt the remaining two tablespoons butter with the reserved bacon grease over medium-high heat; add chicken, and brown on all sides until golden. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture on top of chicken pieces, then gradually stir in chicken broth mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add red onion and torn escarole, stir to incorporate and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and allow filling to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, before spooning into prepared pie shell.
  9. Top with crust circle and crimp as desired. Cut steam vents and brush top of pastry with milk, then arrange turkey cutouts on top.
  10. Bake for one hour. Cool before slicing.

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