I love the whole “pie in a jar” thing lately. Mason jars are safe and easy to cook with, and can handle a ton of heat just fine. Think of them as a re-shaped pyrex casserole dish and the possibilities become a whole lot more fun.
The basic idea of these is that you’re going to make a basic pie crust from flour,ice water, a bit of sugar, and some cold butter. We’ll go over the pie-crust technique, but you’ll press pieces of the crust into the jar all the way to the top. Try to keep the layer uniform so it’ll all be cooked at the same time.
The filling is a bit tougher. You’re going to end up with cooked chicken, softened vegetables, and a cream sauce that you’ll probably want to eat straight out of the saucepan. (/licks spoon)
The longest part of this is the chilling of the pie crust. So if you’re working with a pre-made rollout variety, your recipe will only take about 30 mins prep and about 45min-1hr of cooking time. It’s worth it, and these pies store nicely in the freezer as well as make great gifts.
Recipe 33: Chicken Pot Pie (in a jar!)
Total time: 2-3hrs depending on your pie crust source.
Yield: 4 pies (in a jar), or 2 jars and 1 regular-size pie.
-4 half-qt mason jars with rings and lids, -or- 2 mason jars and 1 pie dish.
1/2 chopped onion (medium size, whichever color you have)
1 cup cubed potato (1/2″ cubes)
1/3 cup AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
2 cups chicken broth
Make your crust first-off. If you’ve purchased a pre-made (roll-out) pie crust, you can skip ahead, but you want an unbaked pastry because you have to form it to the jars. Blend your cold butter with your dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender, and once the butter is relatively combined (should look like crumbs), add your water a tbsp at a time until the dough holds together just barely. Press pieces of dough into the mason jars, trying to keep an even 1/8″-1/4″ layer throughout. Roll out the rest and use the mason jar rings to cut out the “lids” from the crust. You can bust out your cute cookie cutters to create a vent. Either way, make some slices in the lid once you add your pie filling so the steam has a place to escape.
Now, for the innards. Prepare your vegetables as the ingredient list says, and pile all your veg into a skillet. Cover with chicken broth and add water if you need to ensure the vegetables are covered completely. Simmer on med-lo for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove your vegetables to cool with a slotted spoon or fine-mesh strainer to keep the broth in the skillet. Add your cubed chicken and season how you like it. Simmer until JUST cooked, it’s okay if there’s still a small bit of pink as you’re going to cook it in the pie anyway. Remove the chicken to cool the same with the vegetables, keeping the now flavor-enriched liquid in the skillet.
To the broth in the skillet, add your pepper, salt, parsley, milk, cream, and flour, whisking quickly to reduce the amount of lumps. Cook a bit until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and remove from heat.
The order of filling:
Chicken (about 1/4 cup)
Vegetables (about 1/4 cup)
Sauce, about 1/3 cup, and use a chopstick to remove the air pockets and allow it to travel to the chicken layer.
Your pie-crust lid (don’t forget to vent!).
*optinal: an egg or butter wash to make the crust shiny.
The jar ring (it acts like a pie shield).
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put your jars on a cookie sheet or in a pan and bake for 45mins-1hr. Your pies are done when you can see the crust start to gently pull away from the inside of the jar and brown a bit. It’ll look flakey. You’ll probably get a bit of overflow during the baking process, don’t worry, it’s still tasty!