Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Moravian Chicken Pie
Nothing makes you feel better than comfort food.  This dish certainly qualifies for that distinction. No veggies here, just moist and tender chicken in a homemade chicken gravy enveloped in a flaky homemade crust.  Comfort food at its most comfortable!  

For the Crust:

1/2 C sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1-1/2 t salt
12 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the Filling:

2 (10- to 12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 T vegetable oil
3 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C half-and-half
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Crust:

Stir together sour cream and egg in small bowl, set aside.
Process flour and salt in food processor briefly. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, and pulse until the butter is pea-sized.

Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture, half at a time, pulsing after each addition until combined. Mixture should start to form into a dough about 10 pulses after final addition.

Transfer to floured surface and knead briefly, just until dough comes together. Divide in two and form each half into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.

After chilling, remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator and let sit 10 minutes, then roll into 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to 9-inch pie plate.

Roll second disk of dough, and transfer to parchment-lined sheet. Cover both and return to refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until browned all over, about 10 minutes; transfer to plate. Pour fat (you should have 2 tablespoons) into small bowl; reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Add broth, chicken, and bay leaf to now-empty pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to bowl. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding bones. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer into second bowl and reserve (you should have about 2¾ cups); discard bay leaf.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450°F. Heat butter and reserved fat in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of reserved broth and half-and-half and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gravy until thickened and reduced to 1¾ cups, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine 1 cup gravy with shredded chicken; reserve remaining gravy for serving.

Transfer chicken mixture to dough-lined pie plate and spread into even layer. Top with second dough round, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Cut four 1-inch slits in top. Brush pie with egg and bake until top is light golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°Fand continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let pie cool on wire rack for at least 45 minutes.

When ready to serve, bring remaining ¾ cup reserved gravy and remaining ¾ cup reserved broth to boil in medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve pie with gravy.

Source: Cook’s Country December 2011/January 2012 issue

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