Chef Christopher Styler's recipe, whether made with the leftovers from a roast chicken (or turkey) dinner with all the trimmings or with supermarket convenience items, can be in the oven in less than half an hour.
|1/2 a 17-ounce package puff pastry, defrosted (see Note below)||3 tablespoons flour|
|1 egg, well beaten with a few drops of water||1 teaspoon dried thyme|
|2 cups chicken broth||1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce|
|1 1/2 cups milk||2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken|
|2 tablespoons butter||2 cups cooked and diced or coarsely chopped vegetables|
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Unfold the pastry onto a cutting board. Cut the pastry into strips along the seams, then cut the strips in half crosswise to make 6 rectangles, each about 3 x 4 inches.
Using the tines of a fork, poke each rectangle in several spots. Transfer the pastry rectangles to a baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pastry rectangles generously with the beaten egg.
Bake until puffed and deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove and let stand while making the filling, but leave the oven on.
Choose a glass or ceramic or enamel cast iron 9x11-inch baking dish with a 6 to 7-cup capacity. Heat the broth and milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. In a separate large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When foaming, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Pour in the milk/broth mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the thyme, Worcestershire, chicken and vegetables. Return to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
Put the baking pan on a baking sheet. Pour the chicken filling into the dish. Arrange the pastry rectangles to cover the top evenly. It is fine if some of the filling is exposed. Bake until the filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes. To serve, scoop some of the filling into a soup bowl and top with a piece of pastry.
The vegetables can vary according to your taste or what you have on hand. Here are a few suggestions: Leftover baked potatoes (peeled or not) and cut into neat cubes; corn stripped from the cob; broccoli florets and stems cut into uniform pieces and steamed; string beans cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces and steamed. (It is not necessary to steam the broccoli or string beans if they are leftovers.) Also consider the wide variety of excellent quality frozen organic and mixed vegetables now available. In a pinch a bag of that old standby--peas and carrots--will do.
The most commonly sold puff pastry, Pepperidge Farm, comes in a 17 ½-ounce package that contains two 9 x 9-inch pieces of dough. Use one for this recipe and save the other. Any inch piece of puff pastry will do.
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