Chicken Pot Pie


This is one of the dishes I remember from my childhood and teenage years. If memory serves we were buying the frozen Swanson pot pies, both the chicken and the beef. I remember they took about 45 minutes starting in a cold oven, because they were frozen solid.
People call it comfort food nowadays, but it is actually a convenience food adapted from an earlier convenience food. I believe this dish was invented to 1.) portion a meal, and 2.) make it easy to take along. Back in the day, these would have been casseroles of different sizes, which gave way to aluminum pie pans. To freeze it just constitutes the next step in convenience. To be clear: I don’t see convenience as an end, on the contrary, I don’t have much use for the „fast“ in food. But if I’m making something to eat for work, I will sometimes cut a few (convenient) corners.
This pot pie, however, was cooked because I wanted to try to improve the flavors etched on my hard drive.
I think it was a hands down win.For the dough:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 eggs

Combine flour, salt and butter to make pea-sized pellets. Make a bowl, add the 2 eggs and the water. Stir, then knead, until dough is smooth. Refrigerate several hours. Quarter the dough. Flour the board and roll the dough so it will fit into your bowl. Line the bowl, prick the dough with a fork, prebake.

Separate an egg, brush baked dough with egg white (keeps the dough from getting soggy).
Fill the bowl, roll a second piece of dough to make a lid. Adorn with dough ornaments, bake.

Filling:
1 leek, in rolls
2 carrots, in rolls
15 snap peas
mushrooms (good with this, I didn’t have any)
2 potatoes, diced
flour
butter
veal stock or chicken stock a little cream
tarragon

I diced the potatoes and cooked them in a little salt water. Sliced the carrots 3mm, added butter and a pinch of sugar to the pan and sauted the carrots and the snap peas for 10 minutes. Then I added a 1/4 cup water and let cook until dry and tender. In a third pan, I sauted the leek rolls.
In a sauce pan I took a chunk of butter sauted a diced shallot, added a tablespoon of flour and cooked a medium brown roux, about 4 minutes, then added some Noilly Prat and some veal stock and also some cream.
Should I be irritating you with the maddening „some“- „some“ is just a swig of cream, about 250 ml of veal stock and just a jigger of Noilly Prat. I cooked this mixture to about 2/3 of its volume and added two diced chicken breasts and cooked them about 10 minute. Then I let it cool off. The vegetables were done, so I added them to the sauce.
This mixture was placed in the bowl and the top crust was added and baked.

The result? Much better than my memory.
And for added elegance, add fresh french tarragon at the last minute.

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