Old-fashioned, straightforward, country comfort food.
The quantities in this recipe are odd, but for good reason. The crust makes enough for one pie but the filling enough for four. I can’t imagine the you have enough room in your freezer for three or four pies, but you probably have the room for the filling of three or four pies. Plus, if you’re going to the trouble of making the filling, you might as well make enough for next time. You can also freeze the filling in individual portions, and not even top them: my daughter, Lauren, likes the filling so much that sometimes she just heat it up in a bowl for lunch.
When you are cutting up the chicken and vegetables, be sure to make them all the same size.
One pie serves about 6.
FOR THE CRUST (ENOUGH FOR 1 DOUBLE-CRUST PIE)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup cold water
FOR THE FILLING (ENOUGH FOR 4 PIES)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 to 8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups diced unpeeled potatoes
8 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried thyme
½ tablespoon dried sage
12 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups cooked chicken (I prefer white meat, but either dark or white will work fine)
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup all-purpose flour
FOR THE EGG WASH
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
1. To prepare the crust: Place the flour and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, and turn it to medium speed. Add the butter and mix until it resembles coarse sand, about 2 minutes. Add the water and mix until the dough just comes together, less than 1 minute. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or place it in a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.
2. To prepare the filling: Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic, carrots, onion, and celery, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to combine. Add 6 cups chicken stock. Stir in the thyme, sage, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pot over medium heat and when it has completely melted, add the flour and stir to form a thick paste. Continue stirring to cook out the raw flour flavor of the roux, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the stew pot and bring to one quick boil. Remove from heat and add the chicken, peas, salt, and pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate covered, at least 2 hours and up to 8.
4. While the chicken mixture is cooling, roll out the crusts: Remove one disk of pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out to an even ⅛-inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Place it in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, leaving at least ½ inch overhang. Refrigerate. Repeat with the second disk, but place the rolled-out dough on a lightly floured sheet pan or plate, cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate.
5. When the chicken mixture is cold, pour it into the pie pan. Top with the second crust. Trim the edges and tuck the overhang under, forming a thick edge. Crimp decoratively as desired, and cut several slits in the top crust to ventilate.
6. To make the egg wash: Place the egg and water in a small bowl and mix well. Brush the mixture over the top crust. (The pie can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen for 2 months.)
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
8. Place the pie on a baking sheet and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the crust is browned and the pie is heated throughout, about 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)