Warning: Spoilers everywhere.
Arya demonstrates her killer pie making skills:
Season 6, Episode 10: The Winds of Winter
Now, let's talk about that PIE!
After six seasons of this show toying with the Starks, Arya finally returns to Westeros like a BOMB. It's a satisfying moment, a gruesome moment, and a seriously disturbing moment as we watch Arya graduate from a loose cannon to a seasoned assassin. She's not the same girl who took her chances with the down and dirty revenge killings of Polliver and Meryn Trant, she's clearly giving some careful thought to the the method and manner of her vengeful return. A girl has a plan. And that plan involves the baking of a very special pie.
A traditional British Huntsman pie is a complicated thing - a savory pie with 3 different cuts of pork, chicken and stuffing. It is also on Saveur magazine's top 13 most difficult recipes. Friends, this is NOT that pie. Or this amazing pie. Sadly, I am not nearly skilled (or patient) enough for these recipes, but I do love a good chicken pot pie - a stewy, gravy-filled, double-crusted pie of cozy. Arya likes pies, Hot Pie likes pies, I like pie. What better place to begin this food obsessed tour of Game of Thrones?
This recipe is adapted from the Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie recipe from Emily McDowell at Food52; a double crust pie baked in a 9" springform pan, it's a magnificent pie to behold. I mean, what's better than a chicken pot pie? A DEEP DISH chicken pot pie, that's what. It really is impressive, Hot Pie would be proud. This pie is massive - it will feed 6-8 as a dinner entree, as many Freys as you would care to entertain. All the ones worth a damn, anyway.
I've been making a Huntsman stew for years, for so long I don't even remember the source of this recipe. What makes this a real Huntsman stew? That information is lost to time, but I imagine the foraging of mushrooms and wild onion and rashers of bacon accompanying a huntsman on his travels in the wood, but that's just a story. Let's just say this is my Huntsman stew. It's been a staple for many cold winter nights - a cozy braise of chicken, bacon, mushrooms and onions in a white wine gravy and served over soft polenta. It's delicious - and why not use this in a pot pie? In pot pie form carrots, celery, and peas round out the filling for maximum pot pie-ness.
As for Hot Pie's brown butter pie crust method, browning the butter before adding it to the dough...It's brilliant idea in theory, but it didn't quite pan out for me. I'm sorry Hot Pie, I tried. I found that browning the butter and then re-chilling it into cubes before making the pie dough may have changed the composition of the butter, and instead of flakiness, the crust was flat and greasy. I went back to a classic all-butter pie crust and then brushed brown butter on the top crust for a lovely glaze and that beautiful nutty aroma.
So cue up an episode or two of Game of Thrones, throw together a big green salad, a bottle of your finest Arbor Gold, and serve up this delicious pie to your guests. But you know, maybe just not exactly like Arya Stark.
Huntsman Chicken Pot Pie
serves 6-8; makes one 9-inch deep dish pie
adapted from Emily McDowell
For the crust:
For the filling and assembly:
Make the pie crust:
Make the filling:
Assemble the pie: