Recipe Sketchbook: Chicken Pot Pie

100302-demian-chicken-pot-pie-2The inspiration for chicken pot pie came about because I had one extra pie crust that had to be used up.  After all was said and done I actually had to go out and buy more pie crusts.  Such is the typical way these ‘inspirations’ go.  Anyway…

Butcher a whole chicken.  Cut up the meat and refrigerate.  Roast the bones with a mirepoix of vegetables.  Make a stock out of the roasted stuff.  The next day strain the stock, toss the bones, spent veg and any aromatics that you added but save and mince any good meaty bits you can pick out.  Add the meaty mince back to the stock since there is no need for it to be ‘Thomas-Keller-clear’.  Reheat the stock and poach the saved chicken meat and then in the same stock whatever cubed root vegetables you have on hand.  In this case a potato, a turnip, some butternut squash and some carrots.  Also saute some chopped onion, celery and minced garlic in a good bit of butter.  To that add enough flour to make a roux situation happen.  Once nutty brown, add back in three quarters of the stock and some half and half or light cream.  Wisk and simmer on low for a while to thicken.  Pour this into the chicken and cubed veg mixture.  Add chopped parsley, tarragon and thyme along with ground pepper and a little more salt than you think you will need.  Mix it all up and put it into a buttered pie tin.  Run to the store and buy more pie crusts when you realize the filling won’t all fit into one pie.  Artfully cover mixture with crust dough while poking reserved chicken wings out through the middle.  Just like St. John Restaurant pokes a marrow bone out from their meat pies.  Put in the oven at 400F (205C) for almost an hour.  Serve while fondly recounting stories of eating the little frozen pot pies your mom used to buy from the freezer section of the grocery store.

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