A really great pot pie is all about creating a luscious filling baked between two sturdy but flavorful crusts. This recipe goes great lengths to make the sauce as luxurious as possible while ensuring the meat inside is not overcooked. The real secret to a great pot pie is baking the bottom crust first so that it doesn’t get soggy once the filling is added, then allowing the finished pie to rest before slicing.
2½ cups pheasant or chicken stock 1 lb. boneless, skinless pheasant breasts 5 tbsp. unsalted butter 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼" dice 1 onion, peeled and cut into ¼" dice 2 stalks celery, cut into ¼" dice 1 tsp. kosher salt ⅓ cup AP flour ½ tsp. dried lavender 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced 1 lemon 2 large egg yolks ¼ cup heavy cream 1½ cup frozen green peas 2 pie crusts, see this recipe from Danielle Prewett
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- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Using a fork, delicately pierce the bottom of one of the pie crusts. This is called “docking” and helps prevent the dough from puffing. Cover the crust with foil and put pie weights or dried beans on the foil to also help reduce puffing. Bake until the edges start to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and carefully remove the weights and foil. Turn down the heat in the oven to 375°F, return the crust to the oven, and bake until golden brown, another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let the crust cool to room temperature. Set aside until ready to use.
- Heat the stock over medium heat to a gentle simmer. Cut the pheasant breasts into bite-sized pieces, add to the stock, and poach for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a shallow bowl. Spoon a little of the stock over top and refrigerate until cold. Remove the stock from the heat.
- Heat a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, allowing it to melt. Once it's melted, add the carrots, onion, celery, and salt. Cook stirring regularly until the vegetables release their juices and soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Stir in the flour so that the vegetables are coated with a thick paste of flour. Cook this mixture for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the reserved stock into this mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for another 5 minutes, making sure to stir the pot well to prevent sticking. Add to this mixture the lavender, thyme, zest, and juice of the lemon.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cream. Whisk about ⅓ cup of the hot filling into the bowl to temper the egg yolks. Whisk this egg mixture into the Dutch oven with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add the diced pheasant breast and reserved juices, as well as the frozen peas. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the filling into the bottom of the baked pie crust. Carefully place the second pie crust on top of the filling and bottom crust. Use a fork to seal the top crust to the bottom crust and then cut 4 slits in the crust with a sharp knife. This will allow steam to escape during baking. Brush the top with a very small amount of cream to encourage better browning.
- Bake until the filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, approximately 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 25 minutes before serving.