Cooking It Old School: Chicken Pot Pie

Chow on 11.10.12
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Photo: Kelly Rossiter

Last week I wrote about cooking for my mother and one of the classic recipes I made for her was chicken pot pie. To me, chicken pot pie is an excellent dish. The creamy texture, the soft vegetables, big hunks of chicken, the pie crust on top (unless you go the biscuit route) all make for the ultimate retro meal. I'm happy to report that my mother thought The Gourmet Cookbook recipe for this was pretty fantastic.

The other great benefit of a meal like this is that you can make it ahead of time and go ahead with your day, and then just slip it into the oven half an hour before you want to eat. I made a pie crust topping for these individual servings because I thought the biscuits might get soggy as they weren't going to be eaten right away. If you don't want to make the pie crust, this filling is also delicious over a crusty bread, or even a corn bread.

Chicken Pot Pie

4 cups chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3/4 lb red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 large celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 1 lb)
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 recipe pie crust
1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk

1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Reserve3 cups broth for sauce and save remainder for another use. Add chicken to the vegetables.

2. Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until softeneed, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes to make a roux. Add reserved 3 cups of broth in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, for 3 minutes. Stir in nutmeg, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables, stirring gently until just combined. Transfer to a 2 quart shallow baking dish or divide among four 2 cup shallow baking dishes. Top with pie crust. Brush with egg yolk and milk mixture. Bake at 450F until crust is golden about 20 minutes.

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