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Chicken Pot Pie

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  • Chicken Pot Pie

    Chicken Pot Pie
    adapted from The Pastry Queen...including side notes (Rebecca Rather)

    3 T. unsalted butter
    1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
    8 oz frozen carrots
    1 cup chopped celery
    1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    8 oz button mushrooms, sliced (instead of mushrooms and the next 2 ingredients, I used a 16 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies which included corn, peas, and green beans)
    8 oz fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
    8 oz package frozen peas
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled (I use 4 chicken breasts, poached* and shredded with 2 forks)

    * To poach your chicken, put the chicken breast halves in a large saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. You can do this with frozen chicken breasts, too.

    Cream Sauce
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    1 cup all purpose flour
    2 1/2 cups chicken stock
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Dash of Tabasco
    Salt and freshly ground white pepper (I used black pepper)

    Pie Crust
    1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
    3 cups all purpose flour
    10 oz chilled cream cheese, cut into large pieces
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (I used black pepper)
    1 large egg

    To make the filling:
    If you will be cooking the chicken instead of using store bought rotisserie, start the chicken first so it will be ready to shred while the vegetables are sautéing.

    Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.

    While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Stir the peas and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.

    To make the cream sauce:
    Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine. Fill individual 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.

    To make the crust:
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.

    Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls and cut out dough rounds that are 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

    Alternatively, you can bake this in two 9" dishes or a 13x9" dish, rolling out the dough to just slightly larger than the dish and topping it with the pastry, and tucking in the sides of the pastry.