I had a fellowship for a summer in Santa Fe. While Santa Fe is a teeny-tiny capital city, it is an excellent place to get delicious food. On the Plaza, you’ll find lots of fancy restaurants, along with “upscale” traditional New Mexican fare, but I think my favorite food in Santa Fe comes from a little dive-like place called the Hidden Chicken Cafe. I’ve only ever eaten one meal at the Hidden Chicken–it’s too good not to order–their green chile chicken pot pie. Imagine traditional chicken pot pie with a little kick (i.e. New Mexico roasted green chile). I salivate just thinking about it. After reading a blog post from Oh Dear Drea about chickpea pot pie…I knew two of my culinary worlds were going to collide, in my very own kitchen!
I truly feel sorry for any person who has not experienced authentic roasted green chile from New Mexico. That stuff that comes from a can in the “international foods” aisle at your grocery store? Blasphemy. The chopped stuff from Colorado or Texas? Delicious, but not nearly as delicious as true-blue roasted green chiles from New Mexico. We are serious about our green chile–I think our official state mantra is “red or green?” (referring to the type of sauce you want on top of your New Mexican food, red chile sauce or green chile sauce. I’m a die hard green girl). You know how you are not supposed to wash and scrub a cast iron pot, in order to preserve the seasonings collected over time? A pretty similar logic is used with the roasting barrels for green chile. A local restaurant had their roaster stolen, after decades of use, and it was a city-wide tragedy.
A mean craving for green chile, memories of Hidden Chicken lunches, a blog post on vegetarian pot pie, and a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer drove me to making my adaptation of the beloved green chile chicken pot pie–replacing the chicken with chickpeas!
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1.5 cups of water
1 cup of milk
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
3/4 cup of frozen peas
3/4 cup of frozen corn
3/4 cup of frozen spinach (I had it handy…not sure why)
1/2 cup of roasted green chile–seeded and diced
1 can of chickpeas–rinsed
1 sheet of puff pastry
1. In a deep pan, add the butter and onion. Cook over medium high heat until the onion is translucent. Mix in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, creating an onion paste-ish type of mixture.
2. Turn the heat down to medium and slowly add the water, little by little, mixing thoroughly and allowing the mix to heat up before adding more water. After adding the water, slowly add the milk in the same fashion. Add desired amounts of the spices, around a teaspoon each seemed to work well for me.
3. Add the carrots, mushrooms, corn, peas, and spinach and allow to simmer until the carrots begin to get soft. Add the green chile and simmer for a couple minutes more. Off heat, add the chickpeas, and mix well.
4. Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Place 2 individual bowls on a cookie sheet (we have big bowls, you might need 3 bowls), and fill with the mixture.
5. Spread out the put pastry on a floured surface. Using an empty bowl, cut out a circle of dough. Be sure to give a tiny bit of excess, which will allow you to pinch it against the bowl’s edge.
6. Place the dough carefully over the bowls filled with pot pie filling. Pinch dough to the sides. Cut several vents in the top of the pie dough.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the puff pastry dough is golden and puffed.
We really liked this dish, however, my one pregnancy symptom (heartburn) decided to make an appearance. That coupled with the large amount of green chile used (I added a whole cup and it was too hot for us, it even gave my husband heartburn, but he still ate the whole thing!), prevented me from eating more than a couple bites.
I’ve never been able to master the gravy for pot pies, which is why I was really drawn to the recipe on the Oh Dear Drea blog. It looked so thick and creamy. I ended up adding a little extra milk, because I thought all my veggies sucked out the gravy, however, I’d suggest following the actual recipe above. Adding that last 1/4-1/2 cup of milk made my gravy a little thinner than I would have liked out of the oven.