Perfect Night for Pie

chicken pieChicken pot pie is one of the most cozy meals I can imagine. Flaky crust sheltering tender bits of chicken and vegetables all gathered together with a light gravy.  When I was a kid my Mom would buy the little frozen chicken pies and stow them in the freezer as a treat for me.  While it is nice to have a meal that is just heat and eat,  part of the comfort for me now is the slow process of making a savory pie.

Today I woke to cold, wind-whipped rain slamming against the bedroom windows. Despite the downpour, I ran way too many errands getting soaked in the process.  After a trip to two banks, the dry cleaners, and delivering jam to several stores;  I stopped into Whole Foods and they had chicken parts on sale.  I already had some root vegetables from the winter farmers market and I decided it was the perfect time for staying home the rest of the day and making pie.

Here is my Chicken Pot Pie recipe which yields extra stock and extra chicken for another recipe.  Stay at home days don’t come often for me so later in the week I can use the chicken for chicken tacos and the stock to start a quick soup.

Stock
8-10 cups of water
1 whole chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs (both bone-in) chicken stock
4-5 carrots
2 parsnips
1 small turnip
1 onion
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt
a few springs of rosemary, parsley, and thyme

Peel onion, carrots, parsnips, turnip and cut into large chunks
Split chicken breast in half
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil
Simmer for an hour or until chicken is tender
Strain stock and let chicken and vegetables cool slightly
Separate the chicken meat from the bones
Slice the carrots, parsnips, and turnip into bite-sized pieces
Reserve about 4 cups of stock and 3 cups of chicken and the vegetables for the pie filling.  Store the rest of the chicken and stock for another meal.

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter cut in about teaspoon sized pieces chicken pie sliced
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in food processor or mixer bowl
Add shortening and butter and mix until pea sized crumbs form
Pour in cold water and mix just until the dough comes together.
Gather dough in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight

 
Pie Filling
3-4 cup chicken
1 small onionchicken pie filling
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 cups of stock
1/4 cup cream
2/3 cup frozen peas
carrots and parsnips from stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon instant flour such as Wondra

Slice the onion and cut slices in half
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and saute onions and mushroom until onions are just translucent
Add stock and simmer until reduced by about one-third
Add carrots, parsnips, turnip, and chicken
Add instant flour and cook until very thick
Add frozen peas and cream and set aside to cool slightly

Making the Pie
Prepared and chilled pie dough
Prepared pie filling
1 egg yolk plus 2 tablespoons of water for egg wash
9″ deep dish pie pan

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Divide the pie dough in half
Roll half of the dough to about 1/4″ thick 12″ circle and place in the pie pan, pressing gently into the pan and leaving edges overhanging
Pour filling into the pan
Roll remaining dough to 1/4″ thick circle and cover the filling in the pie pan
Cut off any extra dough and crimp the edges by using a pie crimper or pressing between thumb and forefinger all around the edge
Cut a few slits for steam to escape during baking
Brush top with egg wash
(optional) use the leftover dough to make decorations using a cookie cutter and attach using a bit of the egg wash
Bake for 1 hour until nicely brown and cooked through

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