• 1, 4 to 6 cup ovenproof casserole or baking dish (Note: This recipe also works well portioned into mini-casseroles as individual servings.)
• 1, 4-pound chicken
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 tsp. salt
• ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper (three or four grinds with a pepper mill)
• 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
• 1 large leek, washed well and trimmed of roots and dark outer leaves, remaining white and light green portion sliced into ¼ inch rounds
• 1 bunch (five stalks) fresh asparagus, tips cut into 1-inch pieces and placed in a small bowl; remainder of stalks trimmed of scales and sliced on the bias into 1/2-inch dice
• 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
• 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
• 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 tsp. whole-grain mustard
• Zest of one lemon
• 1, 10 x 15 sheet (1 lb.) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
• 1 egg • 1 Tbsp. milk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with oven rack in center position. Pat chicken dry. Rub with olive oil and salt. Grind black pepper over all.
2. Place chicken in roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 degrees, until chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer. Remove chicken to a cooling rack.
3. In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Gently sauté leeks, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the chicken stock. Continue to simmer. Add bias-cut asparagus. Sauté for one more minute. Stir in spinach leaves just until wilted. Remove all to a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest and set aside.
4. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until flour has toasted and mixture is smooth and golden brown. Add remaining cup of chicken stock, whisking until smooth. Add milk, and continue to whisk. Stir in asparagus tips. Remove from heat, and pour sauce (it will be quite thick) into the bowl of reserved vegetables. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove meat from chicken and shred/ cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to reserved vegetable/sauce mixture.
6. On a clean work surface, tear three pieces of parchment paper. On the first, flip the casserole dish, and trace around it, onto the paper. Cut out the shape to use as your pattern for cutting the puff pastry. Spread the second piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Set aside. On the third piece of parchment, unfold and gently smooth your puff pastry sheet. Gently place your pattern over the pastry. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce a dotted line around the pattern. Using kitchen shears, gently cut the dough along the dotted lines, being careful not to squash the pastry. Slide the pastry onto the prepared cookie sheet. Make egg wash, by whisking the egg with 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the pastry you have cut with egg wash. Using a deer-shaped cookie cutter, cut a deer out of the remaining puff pastry. Place this on top of the first prepared dough. Brush deer with more egg wash.
7. Bake pastry at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove cookie sheet to cooling rack.
8. Spoon pot pie filling into casserole dish. Place in oven and heat until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Top with prepared puff pastry. Serve.
Recipe shared by Deer Path Inn Chef Brad Parsons and converted for the home kitchen by Monica Kass Rogers.