I grew up thinking these things came in a Swanson box. It was a customary dinner on a Saturday night when my parents were going out and a babysitter was on her way. In fact, pot pie is one of the best ways to create a meal out of leftovers. Use the chicken carcass to make stock that will become the base for your sauce, but only after picking it clean of meat. If you have a couple cups of chicken left over, this recipe—with basic vegetables, a thick creamy sauce, and crisp crust—is wholesome and hearty, nourishing and economical.
Of course, I encourage you to make your own crust, so that it’s all from scratch, but a premade dough is fine for this recipe, which is all about the chicken and its sauce. The crust is tastiest if you blind bake the bottom crust before filling it, which is what I suggest—but this, like so much else in the kitchen, is up to you. Alternatively, you can do what many restaurants do: Fill individual oven-safe dishes or ramekins with the chicken mixture, cover with store-bought puff pastry, and bake.
Roll out half of the dough and line a pie plate with it. Cover it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill the plate with dried beans or pie weights.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, hit them with a four-finger pinch of salt, and cook till tender, about a minute. Add the carrots and celery and cook till they are heated and brightly colored. Add the flour and stir to cook the flour and ensure it’s well coated with butter. Add the stock, whisking to ensure the flour doesn’t clump. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the chicken, peas, cream, fish sauce, and pepper. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat.
Roll out the top of the pie dough to your desired thinness. Fill the baked pie shell with the chicken mixture. Cover it with the remaining dough, pinch the edges around the rim to seal it, and cut plenty of steam holes. Brush the top with the egg wash and
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