1 pound meat from a roasted chicken, shredded into bite-size pieces
*Note: Mincing the garlic at the beginning of the cooking process and allowing it to “sit” for at least 10 minutes before use helps its flavor mellow a bit. This can be particularly helpful to those who are sensitive to the volatile oils in the plant.
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
Butter the baking dish or deep-dish pie pan. Set aside.
Prepare the piecrust
Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the celery seeds across the surface of the dough circle and roll over it lightly several times with the rolling pin until the seeds are embedded in the dough.
Transfer the dough circle to the large un-rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Prepare the filling
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms, celery, and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned.
Add the peas and cook for 5 more minutes, then remove from the heat and transfer to a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the same saucepan, then add the flour.
Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until the mixture turns a sort of blond color.
Little by little, stir in the chicken stock, whisking with each addition to create a creamy sauce.
Whisk in the half-and-half, wine, and thyme, then cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes longer, until thickened. Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan, along with the shredded chicken, and stir until everything is fully coated with the sauce.
Assemble the pie
Pour the chicken and vegetable mixture into the prepared baking dish or pie plate and cover with the chilled piecrust. Fold the dough overhang over on the edges of the dish and crimp decoratively as desired.
Whisk the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the edges of the crust. Cut four to six 2-inch slits in the crust, creating steam vents. You’ll need to work quickly while doing this, as the warm chicken and vegetable mixture will heat up the dough, potentially causing the fat within it to melt.
Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool at least 20 minute before serving.
BASIC PIE DOUGH
Makes: Crust for one 9-inch pie.
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup butter (1 stick), chilled and cubed ⅓ ice water
Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl.
Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you should still have some rather large bits of butter when you’re done).
Slowly drizzle in the ice water. Stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump.
Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface, using your hands, and fold it into itself until all of the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but shouldn’t feel overly sticky.
Shake the dough into a ball, and then pat it into a ½-inch-thick disk. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap (alternately, for a more sustainable option, use beeswax-dipped fabric or parchment) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Proceed according to the recipe instructions above.
*My local friend and fellow baker Jodi Rhoden gave me the genius idea of adding celery seeds to the crust of this potpie. After the chilled pie dough is rolled out, the seeds are sprinkled over it and then embedded into it with a few pats from the rolling pin.