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Lemony Wonderful Chicken Pot Pie

Get ready to serve this Chicken Pot Pie at your next "formal occasion." And, you can cheat it, too! Swap a rotisserie chicken for the raw one, or use puff pastry intstead of homemade. This recipe makes one very large 4.5 quart pie or two smaller pies. [We used a 2.5 quart dish and a 2 quart casserole.]
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season

Ingredients

PIE

  • 1.5 kg chicken [either a whole chicken or the bone-on, skin-on pieces of your choice]
  • 1800 ml chicken stock [2 "boxes" low or no salt is fine]
  • 2 onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 c flour
  • Optional: 2 tbs whiskey or cognac of your choosing
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 large cup frozen peas
  • **crust
  • 1-2 egg yolk[s]

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cup flour + additional flour for rolling the dough
  • 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small cubes just before combining.
  • 2 tbs ice water

THE VESSEL

  • The recipe makes a scant 4.5 cups of filling. So look for one large 4.5-5 quart dish, two 2 1/2 quart pie dishes, casseroles or bakeware of any shape. We used a 2.5 quart casserole and a 2 quart souffle dish.

Instructions

PIE FILLING

  • Quarter the onions and the celery stalks.
  • Zest and juice the lemon, separating the zest and juice into separate bowls.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the raw chicken or chicken pieces, stock, onion, celery, and the zest of the lemon zest to a boil.
  • Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Quarter the carrots and potatoes and add to the pot.
  • Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and place them on a cutting board.
  • Slice the veggies into bite-sized pieces and place in a clean bowl.
  • With tongs, remove the chicken and place it on the cutting board.
  • Skin and debone the chicken. Compost the bones. And, either reserve the skin for another use, compost it, or feed it to the dog!
  • Cut or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it to the bowl of vegetables.
  • Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and bring it to a boil.
  • Into a heat-proof glass measuring bowl, pour about 800ml [about 3 1/2 cups] of the cooking liquid. [The rest may be reserved in a separate container as stock for future use. If, for some strange reason, you don't have enough liquid to measure, top it up with additional stock, white wine, or water.]
  • Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pot.
  • Add the flour and whisk with a fork for about 60 seconds.
  • Add the butter flour mixture to the large, empty cooking pot.
  • Turn the heat on medium-high.
  • Skim the fat from the stock and slowly add it back to the pot, whisking with a flat whisk or wooden spoon until it boils and thickens up a bit.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Add the lemon juice and whiskey.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add the frozen peas and stir to incorporate.
  • Stir the chicken and vegetables into the sauce.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for at least 1 hour before continuing with the crust and the final bake!

PREPARE THE CRUST AND BAKE

  • Heat the oven to 375F.
  • In a medium bowl, place the 1 1/2 cups flour.
  • With your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender, cut the 1/2 cup butter lightly into the flour until you have little crumbs of buttery-floury goodness.
  • Add the water and mix with a butter-knife or spatula until the mixture is no longer sticky and forms a soft dough.
  • On a floured surface, roll the pastry to a slightly larger size than the circumference of your vessel[s]. [I like to use floured sheets of wax paper to roll my stickier doughs]
  • Place the empty cooking vessel[s] upside down on the surface of the dough and cut about 1/2 inch around it with a knife.
  • With the extra dough, cut shapes to your liking with your knife or with cookie cutters.
  • Fill the pie dish or casserole[s] with the cooled filling. [If the filling is too watery for your liking, use a slotted spoon!]
  • Cover the top of the pie with the dough.
  • Press the pastry down around the edges of the dish with your fingers or a fork.
  • Arrange any cuttings on the top of the pie.
  • Beat the egg yolk[s].
  • Brush the egg yolk over the top of the crust.***
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*You may substitute a plain rotisserie chicken if you'd like.
**You may substitute puff pastry if you'd like.
***The uncooked pie may also be frozen and baked until hot in the centre and browned on top!