Recipe for Shepherd's Pie With Chicken & Fresh Tarragon


2 quart water
1 medium to lg whole chicken
2 sprigs parsley
1 enough milk to thin to a thick pure; e
1 salt and pepper to taste
---- 1 Onion, chopped (save
1 -skin)
2 tablespoon butter
1 raw carrot, cut into chunks
1/2 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup fresh snap beans, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
---- *Potato Topping:*
2 lb boiling potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pastry for 2 single 9-inch
1 pie crusts
1 salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out pie crusts, line 2 9-inch pie pans, and put in refrigerator until ready to fill.

In a large pot, place chicken in 2 quarts water, cover, and simmer for about 30 - 45 minutes until chicken is done. Remove chicken, drain, and cool. Skin and bone chicken, saving remains. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. To make stock add chicken skin, bones, giblets, parsley, onion skin, and carrot chunks to remaining broth in pot. Simmer uncovered and reduce to create a rich broth, adding water every once in a while if it boils down too fast. (you can do this easily in a crock pot) You'll need to end up with 2 Cups of chicken broth (the more flavor you can extract from the carcass, the more intense the flavor will be in finished pie.) Drain and set aside.

While chicken is simmering, prepare vegetables. Put 2 Tbls. butter and chopped onion in a frying pan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until onions are tender and translucent. Steam diced carrots, green beans, and peas for 5 - 8 minutes and set aside (use shorter time if you like crunchy vegetables).

Peel, boil, and mash potatoes. Mix in butter and sour cream, add enough milk to bring mixture to spreading consistency, and set aside.

Prepare cream sauce by melting butter and whisking in flour. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add milk and then chicken stock, whisking constantly as sauce thickens. Stir in tarragon, nutmeg, sherry, salt, and pepper. Add steamed vegetables, onion, and cooked chicken to cream sauce. Allow to cool. When cool, put vegetable and chicken mixture in pie shells. Cover with mashed potato mixture. Smooth with wet knife.

Cover one pie with aluminum foil and freeze. Bake remaining one for 45 minutes or until crust is brown. Let sit for 15 minutes, garnish with paprika and chopped chives if you wish, slice, and serve. For the frozen pie, defrost, and then cook and serve as above.

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