By Susan Benton
Chicken pot pie is an example of the best of American home cooking. A kind of culinary miracle worker, with a creamy sauce and a flaky pastry top that is guaranteed to calm even the most stressed nerves, Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food. Both the pastry and the filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before assembling and baking.
Chicken Pot Pie
From The Blender: WS
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup chopped leeks, white and pale green parts
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1/3 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/3 cup dry sherry
2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Double-crust flaky pastry dough
1 large egg
To make the sauce and vegetables, in a large fry pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the leeks and carrots, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peas.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let bubble gently for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the stock and sherry and then the tarragon. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Stir in the shredded chicken and the mushroom-leek mixture and season with salt and pepper. Let cool until lukewarm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon the chicken mixture into six 1 1/2-cup oven proof soup crocks or ramekins.
Place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with flour. (If the dough is chilled hard, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes until it begins to soften before rolling it out.) Roll it out into a rectangle about 20 by 13 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch saucer as a template, use a knife to cut out 6 rounds. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Lightly brush each round with the egg. Place 1 round, egg side down, over each ramekin, keeping the pastry taut and pressing it around the ramekin edges to adhere. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops with the egg. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer each ramekin to a dinner plate and serve. Serves 6.
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