Winning!!! (at a pie contest)

I tried my very first food contest, a Central Arkansas pie contest hosted by one of my fav restaurants, The Root.

I am pretty competitive, so I was perfecting my pie crust and filling recipes for days before the contest.

I made a garlic cream chicken pot pie with a buttery vodka pie crust. The flavor was rich and buttery. The vodka made the crust crazy flaky. It was delicious!  I even made some just by itself to enjoy. Look at those layers!

The filling was creamy and slightly garlic-y with the usual pot pie fill-ins: chicken, peas, onion, garlic, green beans, carrots, and corn.

The results: I got 1st place! (Full disclosure, there was a “best in show”, so a spicy sweet potato pie beat mine.) I was told the perfect crust is what got me the win.

The best part of it all? After the judging, we got to eat everyone’s pies. There were 34….we were fuller than ticks!

If you want the recipe to this “award-winning pie”, here it is:  (You can even make mini handheld pies with this recipe, which is my personal favorite at home.

Pie Dough

-1.25 cups or 2.5 sticks butter (cubed and chilled)
-2 teaspoons salt
-2.5 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup ice cold vodka
-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
-1/4 cup ice cold water

1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.
2. Place mix and cubed, chilled butter in a food processor and
pulse until butter is pea-sized.
3. Drizzle in cold vodka and water (water amount may vary) until
the dough holds together.
4. Knead the dough slightly until you form a ball. Cut in half and
form disks. Wrap both disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for
at least 2 hours.

Filling (This recipe is enough filling for three pies)
-4 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons garlic salt
-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 tablespoon ground black pepper
-1/4 cup diced pepperonis (turkey pepperoni works as well)
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 2 medium or ¼ cup minced shallots
-1 tablespoon dried parsley
-1/2 cup minced garlic
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-2 cups thickly sliced baby portabella mushrooms
-2 cups chopped broccoli
-5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 cup 1 inch asparagus spears
-4 cups heavy whipping cream
-2 cups sliced carrots
-1 rotisserie chicken
-2 cups frozen peas (home-made or store bought both work)

1. Place butter, oil, and pepperonis in cool pan. Cook on medium
until butter is melted and pepperonis have released their fat.
2. Add shallots. Cook 2 minutes.
3. Add garlic. Cook 2 minutes.
4. Turn heat on medium-high and add mushrooms. Sear the
mushrooms on both sides until slightly browned.
5. Lower heat to medium. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes.
6. Add heavy whipping cream and whisk until ingredients are
7. Add garlic salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and cayenne.  Turn heat
to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, until very thick, stirring
8. Add broccoli, asparagus, and carrots. Cook another 5 minutes.
9. Slice or pull apart the chicken, including some of the well-
cooked skin. Add to filling.

Assembling Directions:
1.Pre-heat oven to 350°.
2.  Roll out both disks of dough and place one in pie dish or cast
iron skillet. Poke a few holes in it with a fork.  Lay wax paper
over it and fill with dry beans. Bake 10 minutes or until it starts
to brown.
3. Fill pie shell with filling and place other rolled disk of dough on
tough. Crimp edges. Cut a few slices in the top for ventilation.
4. Cover the pie crust with egg wash (one beaten egg) and top
with sea salt (salt optional)
5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
6. Let cool at least 10 minutes before digging in.

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