Deep-Dish Chicken Pie

2 young frying chickens (about 3 pounds each)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups water
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons flour
Dash of white pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
single-crust pastry or a frozen 10-inch pie crust

Quarter chickens for simmering.

In 6-quart Dutch oven, combine chicken, onion, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, celery, salt, thyme and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is fork-tender (about 1 1/2 hours)

Strain and reserve broth; measure out 2 cups for cream sauce, freezing remainder for another use. Remove chicken from bones, cut into generous bite-sized pieces. Reserve carrots, discarding remaining ingredients from broth.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook until onion is soft but not browned. Stir in flour, pepper and nutmeg, cooking until bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the 2 cups of reserved chicken broth. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened.

Mix in chicken pieces, carrots reserved from cooking chicken, peas and mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture in round baking dish about 9 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. (At this point, pie can be refrigerated and held several hours or until the following day.)

To prepare pie for baking, fit pastry into place over top of filling; trim and flute edge. Cut slits for steam to escape. Bake until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Purple

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