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Remember last September when Jeff was craving chicken pot pie? That time we made the All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pies with the chicken and vegetables that were bathed in a heavy cream sauce and lovingly tucked under blankets of cream cheese crust? Yeah, they were good.

Last weekend was cold and rainy – perfect pot pie conditions – but I wasn’t up for spending a lot of time in the kitchen or tempting a coronary during the season finale of “Flight of the Conchords,” so it was time to trim this pie to the bare essentials and bring forth a lean(er), mean Spring Chicken Pot Pie.

First, the filling: rotisserie chicken straight from the grocery, plus the spring vegetables we had lying around. For the sauce, we kept the butter and left out the heavy cream. And for the crust, we got all Barefoot Contessa on it and used the packaged puff pastry left from the Mini Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts. Twenty-five minutes later, we had our pot pies. Yes, each one had at least two servings of vegetables, but they were close enough in taste to the original recipe that we forgave all the vitamins floating around. A solid, satisfying, comfort food quickie.

Spring Chicken Pot Pies

Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Serves 6

    Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 ounces carrots, diced
  • 4 ounces celery, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 purchased rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled
  • 8 ounces green beans or sugar snaps, fresh or frozen
  • 4 ounces frozen corn
  • 4 ounces frozen peas
    Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Dash of Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    Crust:

  • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
  1. To Make The Filling: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, carrots and celery, and sauté about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones, and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Place the green beans or sugar snaps in a microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to cover. Cover the dish and microwave on high power about 10 minutes, until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly. Stir the beans, peas, corn and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.
  3. To Make The Sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine. Fill individual 1 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.
  4. To Make The Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out slightly. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls, and cut out dough rounds that are slightly larger in diameter. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 6 circles in all. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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