The idea behind this recipe is to roast two whole chickens and vegetables and eat one for dinner (reserving that picked-over carcass). The leftover whole chicken and extra cooked vegetables are turned into Chicken pot pie for a second quick dinner.
The recipe may seem complicated because it's multi-step but it really isn't. There are three parts - the stock, the chopping and the sauce. Then it's really just baking time. What you need to prepare in advance is enough pie crust to cover the dishes. I suggest the equivalent of three 9” pastry rounds. I used store-bought – French Picnic pastry rounds.
(If you do buy pastry rounds make sure the ingredients meet your standards.)
Making a Homemade Quick Chicken Stock The day that you make the chicken pot pie (or the day before) pull off all the meat from the reserved roasted chicken (and discard as much skin as possible) then add the two carcasses to a large stockpot:
1-2 Chicken carcasses from leftover roasted chickens
Bring to a boil over med high heat. Loosely cover and and simmer for 30mins or until reduced to about half. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, discarding bones and any solids. This will make a nice light golden stock. My chicken stock ended up with about 1.5c so I added more milk to make the sauce.
Preheat oven to 400°F (convection if you have it)
Making the Chicken Pot Pie Filling:
Chop up leftover cooked vegetables – to make about 4c
(e.g., 5 medium potatoes, 2-3 small white turnips, 1 med/lg parsnip – Swedes/gold turnips or celeriac/celery root would be nice here too)
Chop 1 bunch of fresh carrots = 1c chopped carrots Optional: 1 c of fresh or frozen peas, 1 c of fresh or frozen corn
Dice reserved chicken into ½”-1” pieces.
Toss vegetables and chicken together. Season to taste.
The Sauce for the Filling:
3/4c flour (I used all-purpose)
2-3c Homemade Chicken Stock
1c cream (1/2 & 1/2 or whipping cream)
In a medium pot bring chicken stock to a simmer and whisk flour, milk and cream. Cook for 3 to 5 mins whisking regularly until sauce is smooth and thick. It should have a distinct chicken flavor. If you wish to add spice – try a grate or two of fresh nutmeg. Season to taste.*
Pour warm sauce over cold vegetable and chicken mixture and combine. Season to taste. Spoon sauce and mixture into small casseroles ( I made 5 individual and 1 medium from this recipe) filling level or almost level with the top of the dish and top with pre-cut rounds of pastry**. Trim and fold over edges as if putting a top on a pie. Cut vents to let steam escape. (At this point you can cool the pies slightly and put them in the fridge overnight).
Place casseroles on a lined baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for about 30-35 mins or until the crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before serving – be sure to warn your guests if serving individual dishes as the dish and contents will be extremely hot and pulling off the pastry will release steam. (Be especially vigilant of children.)
* A Note on Seasoning: Keep in mind that you will likely have seasoned most of the "pre-cooked" ingredients already, so use a light hand in adding more seasoning and keep tasting throughout.
**Cut pastry by placing the casserole dish on the pastry and cutting around it leaving a ½”-1” overhang on all sides. ie. If the dish is 4” in diameter cut about a 6” diameter circle which gives you 1” on all sides. I just used a regular paring knife to cut the dough.