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This is one of the best Chicken Pot Pies I’ve ever had! It is a bit of a chore to make, but it is well worth the effort because of the rich cream sauce and the wonderful combination of chicken, vegetables and fresh herbs. This serves 8 and would be a great dish for company served with a nice salad. You can do everything up to the Assembly step and refrigerate the filling and the dough separately. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake it, take the filling out of the refrigerator and then continue with the Assembly step when you’re ready to bake it.

Pastry:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

¾ cup Unsalted Butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

1 cup Sharp Cheddar, shredded

½ cup Ice Water

Place flour in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the butter until the dough is crumbly. Add the cheese and work in until just blended. Sprinkle the ice water over the pastry dough a little at a time and make the dough into a ball. Knead lightly until just combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until needed.

Filling:

2¼ cup Chicken Stock

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – about 1½ lbs

Salt

2½ Baby Carrots or Carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces

3 Celery stalks, cut into ½-inch pieces

10 oz Pearl Onions, peeled – quarter if they are big

1 cup Small Peas

6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

7 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper, freshly ground

1 tsp Thyme, fresh, minced

3 Tbsp Chives, snipped

3 Tbsp Parsley, minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9”x13” baking dish.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, until opaque throughout, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool completely in the liquid. Remove the breasts, RESERVING THE STOCK. Cut the chicken into ¾-inch chunks and set aside.

Bring a medium-sized ­­saucepan three-fourths full of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook over medium-high heat for 6-10 minutes. Add the celery, pearl onions and peas and cook until all are barely tender, about 3-5 more minutes. Drain well and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mixture is gently bubbling and smooth, 2-3 minutes – DO NOT BROWN. Gradually add the reserved stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until smooth and slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste, thyme, chives and parsley.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Spoon into the baking dish.

Assembly:

1 Egg, lightly beaten

Brush the edge of the dish with some of the beaten egg.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a rectangle 10 inches by 15 inches. Transfer the pastry to the top of the dish, pressing on the edges firmly. Trim away the overhanging pastry. Gently knead the dough scraps together, roll out 1/8-inch thick and cut out several small leaf shapes. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg. Using a knife, score the pastry leaves lightly, attach them to the pastry and brush with more egg. Cut 3 slits 1-inch long at the center of the pie.

Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Spoon into warmed individual bowls.

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