Marcelle Bienvenu's

Chicken Pot Pie


For the Pastry:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces

¼ cup ice water

For the Filling:

4 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

1 cup heavy cream

4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

¼ cup white wine

1 tablespoon dried tarragon

1½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper, to taste

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water


To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the ice water and blend into the flour mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press large chunks of the dough away from you with the heel of your hand. Gather the dough into a ball and repeat the process. Shape the dough into a thick circle, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking pan. Pour the cream over them and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan; reserve the cream and pan juices. Let the chicken cool, then cut into one-inch chunks.

Blanch the carrots in boiling water for three minutes. Add zucchini and cook for one minute more. Drain and cool under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for four to five minutes more.

Add the broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the reserved cream mixture and the wine. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about five minutes. Add the tarragon, salt, pepper and cayenne, and simmer for one minute. Add the chicken and vegetable mixture to the saucepan and mix gently into the cream sauce. Remove from heat.

Increase the oven temperature to 425ºF.

Mix the egg and water together in a small bowl to make an egg wash; set aside. Pour the chicken filling into a deep two-quart casserole. Roll out the pastry and place it over the casserole dish. Trim the pastry, leaving a one-inch border. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and press the overhanging dough onto the dish. Crimp the pastry all around and brush the top with more of the egg wash. With a knife, make a couple of slashes in the center of the pastry for steam to vent. Place the dish on a baking sheet and put it in the preheated oven. Bake until the crust is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.