Chicken Pot Pie        

This is great pot pie - it was recommended by several people here so I tried it. Both kids & adults loved it; even though it takes a while to make (about 3 hours), it is not difficult & much of the work can be done ahead of time.

One 3-lb. chicken
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups 1/2-inch potato chunks (1 to 2 medium peeled potatoes; I prefer Yukon gold)
24 pearl onions, peeled and left whole
2 cups 1/2-inch carrot chunks (2 to 3 medium carrots, peeled)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
8 mushrooms, halved or quartered
2 Tbs. chopped assorted fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme); more to taste
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen and defrosted)

For the Sauce:
4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-salt canned)
6 Tbs. butter (as needed)
6 Tbs. flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pastry:
1 recipe Rough Puff Pastry (see below), refrigerated

Egg Wash:
1/2 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup cream

To roast the chicken and vegetables -- Heat the oven to 375F. Rub the chicken with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle generously, inside and out, with salt and pepper.

Toss the potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and the chopped herbs.

Set the chicken upside down in a large flameproof roasting pan and scatter the vegetables around the chicken. Roast for 1 hour and 15 min., stirring the vegetables several times.

Remove the chicken from the pan to cool. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and reserve them in a bowl, with the peas. Don't rinse out the roasting pan.

To make the sauce -- Pour the fat and juices into a measuring cup or gravy separator. Spoon or pour the fat away from the juice; reserve the fat. Add the juices to the chicken stock. Measure out the fat and add enough butter (if needed) to make 6 Tbs.

Put the roasting pan (which should still have the caramelized bits from the chicken and vegetables) on the stove over medium heat. Pour in the 6 Tbs. of fat and butter mixture; when it's melted and bubbling, add the flour and stir constantly to make a smooth roux. Scrape up any caramelized remains from the chicken and vegetables. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 min. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer. Continue to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan. Cook the sauce for at least 15 min., whisking occasionally, until it's as thick as heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, and more herbs to taste.

When the chicken has cooled, pull the meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones. Cut the meat into small (1/2- to 1-inch ) chunks and set aside.

To assemble the pot pies -- Heat the oven to 400F. Choose four 12-oz. ovenproof bowls or a 2-qt. casserole.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lay it on a floured board and roll it out 1/8 inch thick into a 20x16-inch rectangle. Set the dish for the pot pie upside down on the dough and cut around the rim with a knife or pastry cutter. (If you like extra pastry, cut the pastry a little larger than the top of the dish.) Stack the pastry pieces on a plate, separating each with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Divide the chicken, vegetables, and sauce among the dishes. Lay the pastry on top, pressing along the edge of the dish to seal.

To make the egg wash -- Blend the egg yolk and cream. Brush the mixture onto the pastry with a pastry brush.

Put the pies on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake on the center rack in the 400F oven for 50 to 55 min., or until the crust is thoroughly browned and puffed. Steam will escape along the edges of the pastry.

Recipe by Cathie Guntli
Source: "Fine Cooking, # 13"
Suggested Wine: Fetzer Barrel Select; Chardonnay

NOTES : Advance Preparation: The Rough Puff Pastry and the filling (chicken, vegetables, & sauce mixed together) can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time & refrigerated. The Rough Puff can even be frozen for a few weeks.


Rough Puff Pastry for Chicken Pot Pie

Don't use a food processor to chop the butter and flour; it warms the butter and makes the pieces too small. Flour amounts are listed by weight (ounces) and volume (cups). Use either measurement.

Yields 1-1/2 pounds pastry

3/4 lb. (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour, chilled; more for dusting the work surface
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chilled water

Put the butter pieces on a large work surface and chop them roughly with a knife. Dump the chilled flour and the salt on top of the butter and use a large knife or a pastry blender to cut the butter and flour together. When well combined (the mixture still will be very dry and rough), add the water, a small amount at a time, and mix with a knife or large spatula or a pastry scraper. You'll have a very crude, dry-looking mixture, but don't worry: it all comes together.

Scrape the dough aside to dust your work surface with flour and then begin rolling out the crumbly dough into a 6x18-inch rectangle. Use a flat, plastic scraper (or the spatula's edge) to fold the two short sides of the rectangle to the center; then fold the bottom end to the top, as if you were closing a wallet. You now have a rectangle that's roughly 4-1/2x6 inches.

Turn the dough 90 clockwise so that the seam is on the right side. Roll it out again to form a 6x18-inch rectangle. You may need to continue lightly dusting the dough and the work surface with flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. Repeat the folding process (you'll have a small rectangle again), seal the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 15 min.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a 6x18-inch rectangle. Repeat the fold-and-roll process twice more. The dough should be smooth. Seal the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

This recipe is great.
I used double strength stock.
If you make this be sure to simmer the sauce long enough to thicken properly, otherwise it will be real soupy.
I made everything 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
Used commercial pre-made puff though. ~Mean Chef
I don't use home-made stock so I usually use half-strength stock that I make with purchased chicken base (otherwise, the food can be too salty or taste too much like the chicken base, esp. when reduced). I now have some Fond du Poulet Gold stock base & I love it. I'd use full-strength of that! ~Rebecca

Source of recipe: Cathie Guntli in Fine Cooking #13

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