In my book, the only good chicken comes wrapped in cellophane. The best chicken comes in a pie. A childhood marred by poultry is to blame for my dislike of live birds. But I digress and now is not the time for a discussion of life on the farm.
Tonight’s dinner was a special request and being the biddable wife that I am I acquiesced. Okay, so it may have had more to do with the fact that he took down all the Christmas decorations and rather than help I took a nap. Besides, I’m pretty fond of this chicken pot pie, too. If you have the time, make this recipe with the pastry crust. If you don’t have the time you could just make the guts and put them over biscuits but try the crust at least once, it is AMAZING. It takes some time and a lot of kneading but it is well worth the effort and exertion.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 7 tablespoons heavy cream
Chicken and Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- poultry seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the pastry: Place the flour and chives in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese and work in until just blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and 7 tablespoons of the cream. Sprinkle the yolk mixture over the pastry dough, a little at a time, stirring with a fork until pastry comes together. Add remaining cream if necessary. Knead lightly until just combined. Press pastry into a circle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Sauté the chicken for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned but not cooked through. With slotted spoon, remove chicken to bowl. In the same pan over medium-high heat sauté the carrots, celery, and onions 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove vegetables to another bowl. Stir peas into vegetables.
Prepare the sauce: In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is bubbling and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in stock, cream, and seasoning. Return skillet to heat, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes until sauce has thickened and is smooth. Stir in reserved chicken and vegetables. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon cooled chicken and vegetable mixture into a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle 11-inches in diameter. Place pastry on top of chicken mixture. Trim pastry edge, fold overhang under and press gently all around baking dish to make a decorative edge. Brush pastry with beaten eggwash. Using a knife, cut 3 slits in center of pie.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown, chicken and vegetables are tender and filling is heated through.