Son saw that a roasting chicken was thawing earlier this week, so he and his Dad brainstormed how they wanted me to fix it. They decided on chicken pot pie. So here's what I did. Warning: this took about seven hours to prepare.
Chicken Pot Pie
Clean whole chicken, lightly salt and herb cavity. (Of course, herb is a verb is a herb. If salt can be a verb, why not herb?) Roast until done.
Empty pan drippings into large stock pot. Rinse pan and empty into pot. When cool, remove chicken meat and discard all the yukky stuff in the stock pot. Add celery and onion, including the onion skin which adds great color to the stock. Throw in a bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover with water and low simmer until everything falls apart (several hours). Meanwhile, cut chicken into large chunks. Peel several potatoes and carrots. Add peelings to stock pot. Prepare any other vegetables you want to add (I used frozen baby peas and baby white corn.) During the last half hour of cooking, add whole carrots and halved potatoes to partially cook. Drain stock into large bowl. Dig out potatoes and carrots - this is why you left them whole - and cut into large chunks.
Meanwhile prepare pastry for a two crust pie. (OK I cheated here and used the refrigerated pie crust.)
Let the broth and fat separate or use one of these handy separators. Now the unhealthy part - heat equal amounts of chicken fat and flour in large skillet (I used about 1/3 cup each), slowly add stock (perhaps 5-6 cups), beating vigorously, and bring to slow boil until gravy is thick. Season with salt if needed (probably not). Add cream if desired. Dust lightly with nutmeg (I love my new microplaner.) Add chunked chicken and vegetables. Let cool somewhat and then pour into pie crust. Cover with second crust. Cut slits into top (I made a chicken design but I was the only one who knew it.) Put into oven preheated to 450 degrees. Immediately turn oven to 350 degrees and bake 40 or 30 or 50 minutes (until top crust is baked). Let cool slightly and enjoy.
Of course, this made enough for two pies so I refrigerated the leftover filling and we had it for lunch today.