I had some little carrots from the yard so I chopped them up and tossed them in there, too before pouring the mixture into some oven-safe bowls, sprinkling some shortbread crumbs over the filling, and sealing them with the crust. Yes, I put shortbread cookies in the savory pie, and yes, it was delicious. The buttery cookies absorbed the broth while everything was simmering away sealed up under the crust and created these buttery little doughy bits that had the entire flavor of the pot pie concentrated into them. So weirdly yet insanely delicious. I am going to add some shortbread crumbs the next time I make my thick beef stew to see what kind of a flavor and texture it adds to that one, too. Sooooo happy that it’s finally stew season again.
First, caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and stir so that they’re coated in the oil. Lower the heat to medium low and allow to cook for one hour, stirring every ten minutes, until the onions are golden brown in color. Then remove it from the heat and set aside.
While the onions are caramelizing, you can prepare the crust. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. You have two options when adding the butter. 1) You could cut the butter into pea-sized pieces over the bowl. But this method usually means holding the butter in your hand which will warm it up, thus making less cold-induced flakiness. Or 2) You could cut the stick into general 2-inch cubes on a cutting board, add the butter cubes to the bowl and toss them to coat in the dry ingredients (this helps protect them from the warm air) and use a dough scraper to chop the butter cubes into smaller bits that are roughly pea-sized. Begin adding the tablespoons of ice water while stirring gently. Grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze. If it generally sticks together when you let go, it is fine. If it completely crumbles apart, it needs a bit more water. Shape into a ball and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to roll it out.
When the onions are done, remove them from the pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the chicken down with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat and add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cover and pan fry them until they are cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side depending on the heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the broth and the flour and stir until combined. Add the caramelized onions, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and seasonings and allow to simmer until the mixture has thickened. Meanwhile, chop the chicken breasts into roughly 1-inch cubes. Add the chicken and the cream and stir until combined. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into four equal balls. Roll each out out into a circle that is about 1/4 inch thick. Evenly distribute the filling between four oven-safe bowls. Crumble up a shortbread finger over each one, then place the crust over the top and press down around the edges to seal, trimming any excess dough. Use a sharp knife to poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.