French Chicken Pot Pies

If it seems like there’s been a whirlwind of activity in our kitchen lately, well, there has been. But I’m about to slow down. We have weeknight commitments for the rest of the week, and Neil talked me out of making homemade dog biscuits tonight. It’s like he never wants me to finish this project! Or maybe he wants me to sleep. Or maybe, just maybe, he’d like the dishwasher to have a chance to catch up. I’m not going to question his motives. I have a puppy sleeping on my feet at this very moment, the laundry is as close to caught-up as it gets around here, and I just updated the google calendar. The dog biscuits can wait. Just don’t tell Birdie.

Tonight’s dinner was from Make it Ahead, and I did indeed make it ahead.

First, I roasted this beautiful, beautiful chicken.

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The recipe called for two whole (four split) chicken breasts, but I had this whole bird anyway. I was making a half-batch of the chicken pot pies, and so I used what I needed from this chicken, and used the rest to make stock (again!). There’s nothing that makes me feel like an accomplished prairie girl than a freezer full of chicken stock. Ya sure, you betcha.

Then, I assembled the filling, and refrigerated it overnight.

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And finally, right before dinner, I added a little puff pastry and baked.

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I got a little sloppy with the puff pastry at the end, but I have no regrets about that. I’d be a terrible verger/acolyte/clergyperson, because my vestments would look exactly like that pastry. Just a sloppy mess. But I will say, it tasted amazing. If I had to change one thing, I would have salted the whole mixture a lot less, but that didn’t stop us from tucking right in to that beautiful mess. Although these are another “variation on a theme” from Ina’s earlier recipes, I’d gladly make them again. And I will, because I froze the filling that didn’t end up in those two bowls tonight. Even halving the recipe left me with three (very generous) portions.

The name of the recipe brings to mind the “three French hens” in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol, which makes me think of the holidays, which makes me think that I’m overdue for a “favorite things” post before Christmas. Stay tuned for more…

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