An all-American comfort dinner for this Veteran’s Day holiday
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, cold, cut into about 8 chunks
1/4 c. ice-cold water
4 flash-frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 cups frozen vegetables (for family peace, I use just green peas and corn)
5 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. flour
3 c. chicken stock (heat to simmer)
1 c. whole milk (heated)
Pinch of dried tarragon
Salt, to taste
Arrange frozen chicken in a single layer in a large sauté pan (will need a lid) and cover with cold water. Place on stovetop on high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover tightly. Leave on stove to poach while you prepare crust and filling.
Put 1 1/2 c. flour, stick of butter (cut into pieces) and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds; slowly add 1/4 c. cold water while processor is running. When dough starts to pull away from sides, but before a ball forms, turn off processor and transfer dough to lightly floured board or counter. Knead very lightly until dough comes together. Divide into six balls. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in wax paper, parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare filling.
Thaw frozen vegetables either in microwave or on stovetop. Drain completely and put in a large glass bowl. Set aside.
Note: make sure stock and milk are hot before starting sauce.
In a heavy saucepan, melt 5 Tbsp. butter. Whisk in 1/2 c. flour. Add hot stock a cup at a time whisking thoroughly each time. Work fast. Remove for direct heat if it’s cooking too fast. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Add a small pinch of dried tarragon (it’s very strong) and salt to taste. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat.
Heat oven to 375 degrees (370 if convection).
Remove chicken from poaching liquid. Cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Mix chicken and drained vegetables. Spoon into ramekins, dividing equally. Pour sauce to cover. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll each disk into a circle large enough to allow about a 1″ overhang on each disk. Place dough on top of filling and pinch around edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and ramekins. Pierce dough with a fork 5-6 times (each dish). Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.