Chicken Pot Pie With Carrot & Potato

A pot, some chicken, and a crust.
A pot, some chicken, and a crust.



2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 pound organic red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 pound organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup white wine

2 cups organic chicken stock

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup shelled or frozen peas

Approximately 1/2 pound puff pastry****

1 cage-free egg

Cooking Directions

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour until evenly coated. In a large skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken pieces, reduce the heat slightly, and sauté, turning them occasionally, until light golden and thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan, then add the potatoes, carrots, and onions and sauté until they begin to look glossy and bright, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and bay leaf, and sauté, just until the vegetables begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add the wine, turn up the heat, stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits, and simmer until the liquid reduces by about half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the 1 cup of cream. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer briskly until the liquid reduces by about half again and is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Remove the sprig of thyme and the bay leaf.

Stir in the reserved chicken pieces and the sherry. Stir together the butter and remaining flour and stir this paste into the mixture. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to 4 large individual ovenproof 2-cup soup bowls, 4 ramekins of the same size, or a 2-quart baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is cold, at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make sure the puff pastry is no thicker than 1/4 inch. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 4 circles that will overhang the rim of the serving bowls or ramekins by about half an inch; for a single large baking dish, cut 4 circles that will cover its top, or use one large sheet.

In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon cream to make an egg wash. Brush the tops and outsides of the rims of the bowls. Place the bowls, ramekins, or baking dish on a baking tray and place the puff pastry circles on top, pressing them gently over the sides of the dishes . Pierce the tops with the tip of a paring knife. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling hot and the pastry is a deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve hot.

Making Puff Pastry
(*you can also find puff pastry sheets in the frozen section aisle at the grocery store)

1 3/4 cup pastry flour

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 cup ice water

Butter Block

14 ounce unsalted butter, chilled (3 1/2 sticks OR 28 tablespoons) (it helps to keep the butter in sticks for making the block)

1. To make the pastry base: In a food processor fitted with steel blade, combine pastry flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Add butter pieces and with a few on/off turns process until mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. With machine running, pour just enough iced water through the feed tube to make a stiff but pliable dough. (This amount of water can vary quite a lot, so start out with 1 cup and add up to the extra 1/4 cup.) Turn dough out on to a very lightly floured board. Shape into a flattened ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

3. Prepare the butter block: Arrange the sticks of butter into as much of a square as possible. Wrap in a clean cotton kitchen towel or napkin to absorb excess moisture. With a heavy rolling pin, pound the butter to form a 6-inch square about 1-inch thick. Even out the sides as necessary with the rolling pin. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the pastry base and the butter block from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using. Both should be at the same temperature and consistency before rolling.

5. Lightly flour the pastry board and rolling pin. Roll out the pastry base to an 18-inch square. Remove the butter from the towel and set in the middle of the pastry base. Fold 2 opposite sides over to meet in the center of the butter. If the overlapping ends are too thick, level them off by lightly moving the rolling pin over the ends. Even the 2 remaining opposite ends and fold to meet in the center, stretching as necessary until the seams come together.

6. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 18 x 12-inches. Starting with the 12-inch side, fold the dough into thirds. Turn the dough so that the seam is on your right and again roll out to the same size rectangle, sprinkling the pastry board and dough very lightly with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Using a large dry pastry brush, brush away excess flour before and after folding. Using the rolling pin, even out the pastry as it is being rolled. Press two indentations in the dough with your knuckles, to remind you of the number of turns you have made and wrap dough securely in plastic wrap. (You have just completed two turns.) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and let soften slightly before rolling. With the seam on your right, again complete two turns. Press four indentations in the dough. Re-wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Again, let the dough soften slightly and roll one more time to complete five turns. At this point the pastry can be cut, wrapped and frozen for future use. When cutting, cut the dough lengthways. When ready to use the pastry, remove from the freezer and refrigerate overnight. Use as needed.

Note: Makes approx. 2 1/2 pounds

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Winter, Dinner
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