I’ve heard it said that pie crust is so much trouble that it should be saved for special occasions when used for dessert. I couldn’t disagree more. Pie crust can be so easy, especially when you are using a good recipe. So easy that you might even whip them up on weeknights and use them for chicken pot pie (or turkey, if leftovers are calling your name). In fact, I feel like this meal is a great refrigerator  emptier and if you aren’t feeling quite up to the challenge of making a pie crust yourself then simply put your veggies and meat in a pie pan and cover with some puff pastry.

Chicken Pot Pie

For the filling:
¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms*
¼ cup butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup hot chicken stock
4 tbsp whole milk or heavy cream
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced or diced
2 celery sticks, chopped
¾ cup fresh mushrooms, quartered*
1 lb cooked chicken, cubed
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Beaten egg, to glaze

For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup cold butter, diced
4-8 tbsp cold water

Directions:
To make pastry:
sift the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut or rub butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with 6 tbsp cold water and mix until dough holds together. If the dough is too crumbly add more water 1 tbsp at a time.
Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a round. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling:
Put the mushrooms in a bowl. Cover with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain in a muslin lined sieve strainer then dry on kitchen paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt half of the butter in a heavy pan. Whisk in the flour and cook until bubbling, whisking continuously. Add the hot stock and whisk over a medium heat until the mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then whisk in the cream or whole milk. Season to taste and set aside.
Heat the remaining butter in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion and carrots over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken, peas and drained mushrooms.
Add the chicken mixture to the hot cream sauce and stir to incorporate. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon the mixture into a 2 ½ quart pie pan.
Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 1/8 in and 1 in larger all around the dish. Lay the pastry over the filling. Gently press around the edge of the dish to seal and crimp the edge. Glaze the lid with beaten egg and cut several slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until pastry has browned. Serve hot.

*In a time pinch I just increase the amount of fresh mushrooms by ½ cup and don’t use the dried ones.

Source: Adapted from Complete Comfort Food

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