Chicken Pot Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield:

    6 to 8

    Servings.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Chicken is to my way of thinking the most Southern of main-course ingredients. That may be because chicken is, by far, the least expensive of all “meats” and it often appeared on my mother’s table at least once, and frequently twice, a day. Our servant named Joe was an exceptionally fine cook, and the chicken dish that I coveted most—next to fried chicken, of course—was Joe’s chicken pot pie. This is my revised version of his dish.

Ingredients

The Pastry

  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons lard
  • Salt, if desired
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

The Filling

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 chickens ( pounds each), cut into serving pieces
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup small white onions, peeled
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

  • For the pastry, put the flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter, lard, and salt to taste. Using a pastry blender, work the mixture until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the water, a little at a time, working the dough lightly with the fingers. Add just enough water to have it hold together. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in wax paper. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add the chicken, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat without browning, about 5 minutes, turning once. Scatter the carrots, celery, and white onions over.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in another skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until they give up their liquid. Continue cooking until most of the liquid evaporates. Add the mushrooms to the chicken.
  • Tie together the parsley, cloves, and thyme in a cheesecloth square. Add it to the chicken mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Do not let the mixture burn.
  • Sprinkle with the flour, stirring to distribute it evenly. Add the wine and stock. Add the Tabasco sauce and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Meanwhile, cut the bacon into 2-inch lengths. Cook the pieces until crisp and brown. Drain.
  • Strain the chicken and pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan. Discard the cheesecloth bag. Arrange the chicken and vegetables in a baking dish (a 16 × 10½ × 2-inch oval dish works well). Cut the eggs into sixths and arrange them over the chicken and vegetables. Scatter the bacon bits over the chicken and vegetables.
  • Skim off and discard the fat from the cooking liquid. Bring the liquid to the boil and add the heavy cream. Bring the sauce to the boil. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture.
  • Roll out the pastry. Cut an oval just large enough to fit the baking dish. Arrange it over the chicken mixture and cut a small hole in the center to allow steam to escape. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake 30 minutes.