Chicken Pot Pie

I decided to try and make this from scratch last year, and am so glad that I discovered it.  It is a great Sunday dinner.  I do take the time to make my own crust because I think it is much better than store bought.  I wish my kids had liked this more, after I slaved away in the kitchen, I hope they will appreciate it more when they are older!

Chicken Pot Pie:
adapted from Joy of Cooking
click here for printable version

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sherry (optional)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
several drops lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
dash nutmeg
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3/4 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 3 teaspoons dried

Flaky Pastry Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening 
1 stick butter

Place the chicken breasts in a large pot and add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and cook on medium high for 10-12 minutes, covered.
Remove the chicken and, when cooled, shred into pieces.  Pour the chicken broth into a glass measuring cup, save 2 cups.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  
Add 2 cups of the reserved chicken broth.
Whisk in the whole milk.
Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly.  Continue cooking until it is thick and coats a spoon.
Add the shredded chicken and sherry.
Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and nutmeg.  
Remove from heat.

Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the shortening and butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Cut the fat into the dry ingredients, until the fat is in pea-sized amounts.  The mixture should seem dry and powdery and not pasty or greasy.  Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water plus 1 tablespoon over the mixture.
Mix using a rubber spatula.  Press dough together until it is combined and form into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3o minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter, or spray with non-stick spray, a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add the onion, carrots and celery.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir the vegetables along with the peas and parsley into the creamed chicken mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to fit your baking pan.  Place dough on top of mixture and brush with a beaten egg.

Bake for 35 minutes, until browned and bubbly.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.