Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

Chicken Broth:

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 pounds
  • 1 gallon cool water
  • 2 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch circles
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf

Pot Pie:

  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ bag frozen peas

Pastry

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 1 gallon of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim well; then simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming frequently as the oil rises to the surface.

While the stock is cooking, make the pastry. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a platter to cool. Continue to cook down the chicken broth for another 15 minutes to condense the flavor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the broth, rinse the carrots and celery, and discard remaining solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the skin and bones.

Wipe out the stockpot and put it back on the stovetop over medium heat. Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour to form a paste. Gradually pour in 6 cups of the chicken broth, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Save remaining stock for another use. Whisk and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth. Run frozen vegetables under water for two minutes to thaw. Fold in the shredded chicken and vegetables. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Divide pastry in half and roll each half out to a circle slightly bigger than the top of a pie pan. Fill the crocks 3/4 of the way with the chicken mixture, making sure each serving has a nice amount of chicken, vegetables, and broth. Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush it on the rims of the pie pans, then carefully cap each with a pastry circle, pressing the dough around the rim to form a seal. Trim edges and cut a few slits around the center of each pie. Brush top of  the pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden

From Tyler Florence/ Smitten Kitchen

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