My cooking and baking have improved so much over the last year. And I contribute ALL of it to my friends in Twitterland!!! We often do TwitterBakes, or TwitterCooks. Sometimes we are all together and some times it is more of a Rolling TwitterBake!! We ask questions, share our mistakes and our triumphs, just have fun cooking together far apart (That makes sense to me!!)
For awhile we have been timing our avatars together. Flatbread, cookies, nut/fruit bread. Well you get the picture. This year we are doing Chef avatars. We cook/bake one recipe from that month’s chef and post the pic as the avatar. This month it is Thomas Keller because many of us found it under the tree this Christmas or already had it. Since we didn’t have a lot of time I wanted something quick {which doesn’t happen often with Keller!!}

      Chicken Potpie

…slightly adapted from ad hoc at home by Thomas Keller

Basic Pie Crust {I used Keller’s but if you have a favorite…..}

1 cup 1/2-inch pieces red-skinned potatoes
1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces carrots (cut on the diagonal)
12 white pearl onions {couldn’t find any, used BIG pieces of yellow onion}
3 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
24 black peppercorns
1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces of celery (cut on the diagonal)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken {I used Turkey.}

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
Pinch of cayenne

1 egg, beaten

Roll out the dough, place one piece in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate and the second on a baking sheet, and refrigerate.
Put the potatoes, carrots, and onions in separate small saucepans with water to cover and add 1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, and 8 peppercorns to each pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain the vegetables, discard the bay, thyme, and peppercorns, and spread on a baking sheet. Cut the onions in half.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice water.
Blanch the celery until just crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, transfer to the ice bath, and chill just until cold. Drain and add to the baking sheet with the other vegetables.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; adjust the heat as needed so that the mixture does not brown.
Whisk in the milk, lower the heat to keep the bechamel at a gentle simmer, and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, 30 to 40 minutes; move the whisk over the bottom and into the corners of the pan to be sure the bechamel doesn’t burn.
Position the oven racks in the lower third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Strain the bechamel through a fine-mesh conical strainer into a spouted measuring cup. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and cayenne.
Remove both doughs from the refrigerator.
Scatter the vegetables and chicken into the pie shell.
Pour the bechamel over them. At this point, if the top crust is too hard to shape, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Moisten the rim of pie shell with some of the beaten egg.
Cover the filling with the top crust and press the edges of the dough together to seal.
Trim away the excess dough that overhangs the rim. Brush the top crust with the egg.
Cut a small vent in the center of the dough with a small cutter or the tip of a paring knife to allow steam to escape.
Bake on the lower oven rack until the crust is a rich golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If necessary, move the pie to the center rack during the last 10 minutes of baking to brown the crust. On the other hand, if crust is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the potpie into 6 wedges and serve warm.

1/2 recipe of everything (except the pie crust) gave me plenty for 5 mini pot pies.

As I leaned in to take a picture of the pot pie warm out of the oven all I could smell was the butter in the incredibly flaky crust. It was absolutely heady!! But then there are 2 1/2 sticks of butter in the pastry. The filling veggies were nice and crisp rather than soft and uninviting. I will put more bechemel in the pies next time. I was afraid I would have too much sauce and actually ended up with too little. 1/2 of the bechemel recipe was just about perfect for 3 mini pies.

All in all it was a delightful foray into ad hoc for the first time. It was easy, fairly quick {for Keller}, and so very pretty to look at. Oh, and delicious!!!