Thursday Chicken Pot Pie

For the last week, Maggie has asked me what's for dinner?  Turkey pot pie?  I have to admit, the last thing on my mind at the end of July is pot pie of any sort.  But Maggie is referring to the turkey pot pie I made back in March from leftovers after roasting a turkey.  And so, today was the day to give my baby what she wanted.... almost.  I told her I could not roast a whole turkey again, to which she replied, oh, then use chicken!  The method is not so different from the original turkey version, but a few changes were made.
I started by roasting a whole organic chicken this afternoon.  Knowing it was eventually getting cut up and combined with other ingredients, I simply salted it inside and out and placed it in a 425f oven for 50 minutes.  It was not a very large chicken.. smallish by today's big bird standards.  And it didn't matter if it was totally cooked because it would get cooked further later.  As a matter of fact, a little on the rare side is even better.  Once the chicken was out of the oven, I removed it from the pan to cool and started on part one of the gravy / sauce.  Set the pan over medium heat on the stove and to the drippings add enough flour to make a roux.  Then deglaze the pan with about a cup of chicken stock.  The gravy should be extra thick as you will be adding stock made from the chicken bones in later.  Pour off into a sauce pan and set aside.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat and chop it up into 3/4" squares.  As much as it hurts, toss the crispy skin away.  Of course it's expected to sneak in a few nibbles here and there.  Put the bones in a large sauce pan, cover with water and simmer for about 20 minutes.  This made about 1 to 1.5 cups of stock.  Add to the gravy and mix well using a whisk.

In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add 1 chopped onion and saute until softened.  Then add 3 chopped carrots and 6 oz chopped shiitake mushrooms.  I would have normally  used celery, but didn't have any but did find the shiitake mushrooms in my fridge.  Saute the vegetable for 5-7 minutes, then add about 1.5 cups of the sauce, 1/2 cup of cream, cover and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Add in the chicken and stir to incorporate.  If there is not enough sauce, add some more.  Let the whole pot sit on the stove covered with heat off for about half hour so it can all just get comfy together.  
Ladle the chicken mixture into large ramekins or small casserole dishes.  Cover with a piece of puff pastry.  Brush with melted butter and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 400f.  Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.  It was delicious, but the sauce became too thin after baking.  I'll have to think about what happened there.  Maggie said she "thought it was soup, but oh well, it's still really good".  As she said, "can't have everything perfect every time".


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