One of my favorite dishes to make is a classic comfort food that provides an opportunity to practice a wide range of basic skills. Knife skills, sauce making and pastry are all well represented and the potential for innovation and adaptation is endless. I’ve kept it pretty simple with this recipe, but when you have a confident command of basic skills, there is no limit to what you can create.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp shortening
2 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
4-6 Tbsp cold water
4 Tbsp butter
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped sage
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp picked thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound chicken, cut into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1Tbsp butter for dish
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp coarse salt
Peel carrots and dice small. Dice onion and celery. Melt butter in a medium pot and add carrot. Cook over medium heat for five minutes. Add onion and cook five more minutes. Add celery and cook five more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in flour and cook while stirring 4-5 minutes while stirring. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring to work out any lumps and simmer, stirring occasionally, for five more minutes before removing from heat.
Combine chopped herbs and add half to the pot, stirring to incorporate.
Combine the chicken with olive oil and remaining herbs in a bowl and toss to coat.
Season with salt and pepper and cook in a hot sauce pan until just done. Drain any excess oil and add chicken to the pot. Taste chicken pot pie filling and adjust seasoning if necessary. Allow to cool while you make the pastry.
Stir flour and salt together and cut in shortening and butter with two knives or a pastry blender.
Add water, a little at a time, until mixture will hold together. Divide dough into two parts and form info disks. Wrap and refrigerate at least fifteen minutes before using.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface to 1/8″ thick. Use rolling pin to transfer into a buttered oven safe dish deep enough to accommodate your filling.
Gently push pastry into the corners of your dish while lifting up on the edges so it won’t tear.
Pour cooled filling into the pastry until it is about 3/4 full.
Roll out second pastry and place on top of filling. Trim edges and fold excess under, leaving about an inch exposed above the edge of the dish.
Shape edge and cut a few slits in top crust to allow steam to escape while cooking. Place in refrigerator at least fifteen minutes and up to 24 hours until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove pie from refrigerator, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt before placing in the oven.
Cook for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before enjoying.