Today I made my chicken pot pie the wrong way - I used several different cuts of chicken - the thigh, the breast, and a leg, simmered in broth with herbs and fresh vegetables. While it was good, it was not five star. So I'm going back to my previous recipe of using only roasted chicken for the chicken pot pie. Please read through this posting before you begin!
I buy a 2-3 pounder usually. I rinse it with lots of fresh water then pat it dry with paper towels. Then I squeeze a half a lemon over the chicken, put the lemon half inside the chicken, and drizzle said chick with olive oil or smear it with unsalted butter. I have preheated the oven to 400F, by the way, before I begin. I scatter salt, thyme, and freshly cracked pepper over the chicken, and put it in the oven for one hour. As soon as the chicken goes in, I turn the heat down to 350F.
After an hour, the chicken should be done. To make sure, just wriggle the leg to see if it moves freely, and/or pierce it with a knife right at the thigh - the juices should run clear.
Proceed to devouring half the chicken, and save the other half for the chicken pot pie.
As you're drizzling olive oil on the chicken, make this crust and pop it in the fridge.
1 1/4 cups King Arthur flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 t. salt, more or less
a few tablespoons cold water with ice cubes
Place flour, salt, and butter in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal. Drip iced water, a tablespoon at a time, with mixture until it forms a ball. Mold pastry into an oval shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for a half an hour.
Take the half of your roasted chicken and cut into small pieces. I usually use about 1-2 cups chicken meat, cut up, for my chicken pot pie. Skim off the fat from the drippings from the roasted chicken, and set aside the skimmed juices.
I peel and cut up to 4 cups assorted vegetables - carrots, onions, scallions, parsnips, winter squash, green beans, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn just off the cob.
My favorite herbs are dill and thyme, so add about one tablespoon at this point of either, or both.
Briefly par-boil the vegetables until just tender. Drain and hold.
Place de-fatted drippings and juices, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a skillet.
Bring to a boil. Let boil for a minute, then add a few tablespoons flour, whisking with a whisk all the while.
Add the drippings, and some water or chicken stock, then some cream. The sauce should be smooth and tasty. Add a cup of chicken stock or water, some thyme, salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables and chicken in until blended well. Taste and add more seasonings, if necessary.
Scrape chicken and vegetable mix into a casserole pot.
Roll out your pastry into a circle, and cut to fit your casserole. I use a plate, the same size as the casserole, as a template.
Cut slits in your pastry circle, or use a tiny cookie cutter to cut out a shape - a heart, a star, whatever.
Carefully place pastry on top and brush with a beaten egg mix.
Place in 350F oven for about 45 minutes, or until top is browned.