All-Real-Stuff No-Short-Cuts

Chicken Pot Pie with Top Crust

Not for Beginners or People in a Hurry

Okay, kids, this is the real deal. Real chicken, homemade pie crust, all of it. If you don't have a mastery of basic kitchen skills, like cutting together flour and butter, or de-boning a chicken, or peeling potatoes, I suggest you skip this one. Furthermore, I don't exactly *measure* things when I cook, so all amounts are approximate except on the crust, and you don't want to fudge that.

I can make this up in about an hour and a half, including cook time, but the first time I think it took me three. It makes a horrific mess and it ain't cheap. But boy oh boy, when you want comfort food, this is it. Even people who say they don't like chicken pot pie will eat this, because I left out the big chunks of onion and celery.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a pretty big recipe; it fills a sheet-cake sized pan or two deep-dish pie pans. If you use the sheet-cake pan you'll have some crust left over.

Ready? Okay, here we go....

shopping list

start the chicken stock

2 lg or 3 med chicken breasts OR 3 leg/thigh quarters or some combination thereof. Boneless chicken breasts are obviously less trouble, but you get better flavor by boiling parts with bones.
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs onion flakes or about 1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 to 1 tsp EACH sage, black pepper, parsley, according to taste (sage MAKES this dish, in my opinion)
heavy dose of chicken bouillion (I like Wyler's bouillion beads, but their "Shakers" powder with herbs is good, too.

in the meantime, peel and chop small:

2-3 (about 3/4 cup) carrots
1 to 1 1/2 cups potatoes. Small red starchy ones are best; waxy potatoes, like yellows and golds, don't work well for this. Remember, the more potatoes you use, the thicker your sauce will be. Potatoes should be about one-fourth to one-third total solids in your soup-filling.

prepare chicken, season sauce

make the crust

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) COLD butter or margarine
1/3 cup ICE water

assemble the pie

Serves four, or six, or two if they're greedy and won't share. It happens.