Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is one of my absolutely favorite fall dinners.  The yummy, thick filling stuffed with veggies and earthy flavors and a buttery crust on top is just the perfect marriage of flavors and textures.  Though this recipe requires numerous steps, everything can be done over a 2 or 3 day period, so it seems like  a lot less work, for a really awesome result.  Hands down, the is the best pot pie I’ve ever had, and I have tried my fair share.  You should make it, and soon!

for the chicken:
2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped carrots
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 leek, coarsely chopped
1 3-pound whole chicken
4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Place carrots, onion, leek, celery, thyme, wine, salt and peppercorns in a large pot.  Add chicken, breast side down.  Add 8 cups water to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes.  Remove pot from heat, cover, and poach chicken until cooked through, about 35 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool.  Once cooked, shred meat; discard skin and bones.  Set large strainer over another pot.  Strain broth into a clean pot.  Stir in tomato paste.  Return to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 5 cups, about 40 minutes.

DO AHEADCan be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool. Cover chicken and broth separately; keep chilled. Rewarm broth before continuing.

for the filling:
2 tablespoons dried chanterelle or shiitake mushrooms
1 cup 1/2″ slices peeled carrots
1 small ball of celery root, cubed
1 cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
1 cup chopped white onions
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 fresh sage leaves
4 thyme sprigs
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup button mushrooms, halved if large
1 cup 1/4″ rounds sliced fingerling potatoes
1 egg, beaten to blend
Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Place dried chanterelles in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes; set aside. Reserve soaking liquid. Cook carrots and celery root in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Add peas to saucepan; cook for 1 minute; transfer to bowl with carrots. Add onions to saucepan and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside; let cool. Peel onions.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Whisk in herbs and warm broth from chicken. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chanterelles to saucepan. Pour in soaking liquid, leaving sediment behind. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Set a strainer over another large pot. Strain broth into pot; discard solids. Add chicken, carrots, celery root, peas, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer. 

DO AHEADCan be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

for Martha’s crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

In a food processor, pulse flour with salt and baking soda. Add 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.

Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces remaining.  Add 1/4 cup ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. (If needed, add up to 4 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Do not over mix.Turn out onto a work surface; knead once or twice, until dough comes together. Divide dough in half, and flatten into disks. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate at least one hour or up to three days.

To assemble everything:
Preheat oven to 400°.  Spoon filling into 2 large round baking dishes. Roll out chilled dough on a well floured surface to a 1/4″ thickness.  Top the mixture with the crust, leaving a 1″ overhang around the edges.  Pinch the edges to seal.  Cut slit in center of crust for steam to vent. Brush pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, if desired.

yummy, thick filling

ready for the oven

Place pot pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

serves: 6
time: 1 1/2 hours for chicken / 1 hour for filling / 10 minutes + chilling time for crust
adapted from: filling – Bon Appetit / crust – Martha

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