Place roasters in pots and cover with water. Add chopped
celery stalks, chopped onion, bay leaf and thyme to make
stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 1 1/2
hours until chicken is cooked through, thigh bone pulls
away from body easily. Cool chicken, de-skin, debone
and peel meat off bones in large chunks. Refrigerate in a
bowl. Strain miscellaneous bones out of stock. Peel and
dice potatoes. Slice carrots and chop celery. Using a
strainer, boil cubed potatoes in stock with carrots and
celery. Once they are tender, remove with strainer
and place in a large bowl. The chicken meat should
be half the volume of the additional vegetable mixture.
Dice the chicken into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. Divide
chicken evenly between 2 large casserole dishes.
Divide cooked vegetables, frozen baby onions and
peas evenly then combine. Boil remaining chicken
broth down by 1/3. Skim off chicken fat by cooling it
off over night or in the refrigerator for several hours.
Bring back up to a boil and check seasoning. Add
thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper as needed. You may
strain broth through a cheese cloth to clear broth. Then
thicken it with a roux of 1 1/2 TBS flour to 1 TBS butter
for each cup of liquid stock that you have. Melt butter,
then add flour and cook until flour is lightly browned.
Don't overcook or your stock will be lumpy. Add broth
by the cupful to your roux mixture, stirring constantly
so you don't get lumps. Cook for a little while once all the
stock is added. Check seasoning again. Once stock
is thick, pour gravy over casseroles, making sure it
seeps through the entire dish.
Now top with Mom's No Fail Pie Crust. Pie can be cooked immediately, or frozen and cooked directly
from the freezer. Bake at 350 degrees. If they were
previously frozen, this will take awhile.