Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe from Martha Stewart and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is comfort food at its best.  This takes a bit of time and effort to make, but you’ll be happy with the results.  Use the extra homemade chicken stock to make a great soup.  You’ll want to make this dish again, so you might wish to double the dough ingredients and then freeze half the dough for a later time.  Be sure to chill the dough before and after rolling it out. Tuck the overlapping edges of pastry inside the dish to create a thick, rustic rim of crust.  Chicken pot pie is perfect for a make-ahead party.  Just add a salad and you’re good to go.

1 chicken (3 or 4 pounds)
4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 small bunch fresh thyme or about 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (divided)
1 rib celery, cut into thirds
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (divided) OR whole-wheat pastry flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
2 large egg yolks (divided)
9 ounces red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 pearl onions, peeled or 3 medium sweet onions cut in half and thickly sliced
1 medium leek, white and light-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and washed
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
6 ounces button mushrooms, quartered if large
1 cup milk (I use skim.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Combine chicken, chicken stock or broth, yellow onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, 3 thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and celery in a stockpot, and add enough water just to cover the chicken. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Pick enough thyme leaves to make 3 tablespoons. Combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon thyme or use 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves in the bowl of a food processor, and set remaining 2 tablespoons thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves aside. Add 10 tablespoons chilled butter cut into small pieces, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. While the food processor is running, add 3 tablespoons ice water and 1 egg yolk, and process until the dough holds together. Turn dough onto plastic wrap, flatten into circle, and wrap well; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Drain chicken, and reserve the stock. Remove the skin from the chicken, and remove all the chicken from the carcass. Shred the chicken into bite-size strips, and set aside. Strain the stock, and set aside 2 cups. Reserve the remaining stock for another use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a very large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add red potatoes and pearl onions or onion slices, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to turn golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add leeks, carrots, and mushrooms, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in reserved chicken stock and milk, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved chicken pieces, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons thyme, lemon zest, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and the ground pepper; transfer to a large casserole dish. Set aside.
Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick, and transfer to a baking sheet. Allow to chill 15 minutes. Make an egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining yolk and heavy cream. Working quickly, place the dough over the top of the chicken mixture, and tuck extra dough around the edges. Cut slits on top to allow steam to escape. Brush with the egg wash, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.

Make-Ahead:  You can make the dough and the filling a day in advance. (The dough can be made in advance and put in the freezer for about a month.  Thaw in the fridge.)  If so, allow the filling to come to room temperature.  Top with dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until you are ready to bake.  The pot pie tastes great left over too.

It's possible to make a delicious chicken pot pie using
whole-wheat pastry flour too. 
Here is this pot pie recipe with whole-wheat pastry flour. 
Still beautiful.  Still tasty!
Chicken Pot Pie  made with whole-wheat pastry flour up close.

After preparing Chicken Pot Pie, you'll have enough chicken
stock left to make Elegant Potato Turnip Soup!

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