Clever shortcuts make these individual potpies from Everyday Food reader Martha C. Neumann of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, surprisingly easy. Store-bought rotisserie chicken and pie dough cut the prep time; fennel bulb, fennel seed, and cubed ham update it.
2 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup whole milk
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds), skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups)
1 ham steak (8 ounces), cubed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
9-inch-round store-bought pie dough (from a 15-ounce package)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add carrot, onion, fennel, and fennel seed. Cook until carrot is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in chicken, ham, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among eight 8-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls; set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 15-inch round. With a 3 1/2-inch floured biscuit cutter, cut out eight rounds; place one on each ramekin. Transfer ramekins to a rimmed baking sheet; bake until filling is bubbling and crusts are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
To store: Prepare through step 3; let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil; store in freezer, up to 3 months.
To reheat: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover ramekins; bake on a rimmed baking sheet until bubbling and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
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