For years now, I’ve been making a lightened up version of chicken pot pie, without a bottom crust and topped with a little slab of homemade quick puff pastry. Then a few days ago I had an idea to lighten it up even more as a soup with pie crust crackers.
Though this version is loaded with vegetables and lighter than a traditional chicken pot pie, it’s still rich and buttery smooth.
And the pie crust crackers are so much easier to make than a crust that needs to fit snugly in a pie pan. It may seem like sacrilege to roll the dough out before you’ve let it rest in the refrigerator, but I recommend giving it a try. It’s so nice to have the crackers ready to go straight into the oven. The idea to rest and refrigerate pie dough before rolling is to let the gluten relax to minimize shrinkage, but this isn’t an issue with crackers. It’s also to keep the fat cold for flakiness, but with a mix of butter and shortening, flakiness isn’t an issue either.
The flaky pie crust crackers are delicious on their own, but also great as little bites that you’ve dipped into the soup.
A lightened up version of a comfort food classic made complete with crispy, flaky pie crust crackers.
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 150g, (I used King Arthur brand)
- 4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening such as Spectrum brand
- 4 tablespoons butter ideally high-fat, European style butter
- 3 tablespoons ice water or up to 4 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces (you could also use chicken thighs)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 pound potatoes diced (I used Yukon Gold)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lightly flour work surface.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor with knife blade attached. Pulse a few times to combine. Add shortening and butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form (a little larger than peas). Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after adding each one, until large, pieces just come together. Turn dough out onto work surface. With a rolling pin, roll to an irregular oval 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
When you're ready to bake the crackers, preheat oven to 400°F.
With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut pie dough into crackers of your desired size and shape. Move the crackers apart so that each has a little space around it. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness, until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftover crackers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Heat remaining olive oil in same pot over medium heat. Add onion, lightly sprinkle with salt to sweat liquid and keep from browning; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add carrots, celery, and potato; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add thyme and chicken broth and bring to boil; boil 10 minutes or until vegetables are nearly tender.
Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add butter. Once butter melts, add flour all at once. Whisk constantly for a minute or two, just to cook out the raw flour taste. Add mixture to vegetables in broth and stir to combine. Boil until mixture starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. (At this point, the potatoes should be tender.)
Stir in cooked chicken and half and half; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve hot with Pie Crust Crackers.