Chicken Pot Pie

by Darcy in


It's Sunday night.  Rob and I are watching the Patriots game and I have my feet up because they are quite tired from today's activities.  Did I go on a long run, you ask?  Perhaps a beautiful fall hike or a bike ride?  Nope.  What I did today was make the Chicken Pot Pie in the October issue of Bon Appétit.  I didn't plan to spend the better part of today making this dish (and I did make a few other things while I was working on this), but the whole time I was cooking I was thinking "This chicken pot pie better be worth the effort."  I'd describe this dish as fussy.

I'd also describe it as delicious.

There is a bit of snow on the ground, the air is crisp and I'm finding Colorado surprisingly beautiful this time of year.  Usually I look around at the brown grass and things seem a bit bleak.  But looking back at these photos from a hike at Mount Galbraith, the scene is anything but.  The distinctly fall weather calls for football, hoppy beers, mittens and comfort food, which is what inspired me to tackle this dish.  

This is certainly a labor of love, but well worth it.  I think it serves 9 people instead of 6 as originally written (added bonus is that the smaller portions make this a bit healthier).  I'd advise that you make the chicken and the stock a day ahead of time and then make the filling and dough the following day (when you want to serve the pot pie).  Serve this with a fall salad like the Kale and Pear Salad and a flavorful beer.  We enjoyed an O'Dell's Mountain Standard Double Black IPA for the first time - awesome beer!  For those of you in Colorado, this is a don't-miss beer.  And please don't judge the dish by my photos - by the time this finally was finished, it was dark outside, which makes it next to impossible to take decent photos.  Plus, I'm not sure pot pie is a particularly photogenic dish.  

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from the October 2011 issue of Bon Appétit
Yield = 9 servings 

INGREDIENTS

CRUST
• 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

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

FILLING
• 1 cup 1/2" slices peeled carrots
• 2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
• 1 cup pearl onions (unpeeled)
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 6 fresh sage leaves
• 4 thyme sprigs
• 2 sprigs rosemary
• 2 cups 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, optional

PREPARATION

CRUST
• Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor. Add cubed butter and shortening and process until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. With machine running, add 1/2 cup ice water and process, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry, until dough forms. Form dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12x9 1/2" rectangle, about 1/4" thick. Place on prepared sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

CHICKEN
• Preheat oven to 400°. Place carrots, onion, and leek on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large pot fitted with a lid. Add chicken, breast side down, celery, thyme sprigs, wine, salt, and peppercorns to pot. 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. Reserve broth. Shred meat; discard skin and bones. Set a large strainer over another pot. Strain broth into clean pot. Stir in tomato paste. Return to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 5 cups, about 40 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool. Cover chicken and broth separately; keep chilled. Rewarm broth before continuing.

FILLING
• Cook carrots 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, warm broth from chicken and 1 cup of mushrooms.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
• Set a strainer over another large pot.  Strain broth into pot; discard solids. Add chicken, carrots, peas, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes.  Bring to a simmer.  DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Chill uncovered until cool; cover and keep chilled.  Rewarm before continuing.
• Preheat oven to 400°.  Spoon filling into an 11x8x2" or 2 1/2-qt. round baking dish.  (Add pie bird, if using.) Top with pastry, pinching edges to seal.  If not using pie bird, cut a 1" slit in center of crust for steam to vent.  Be sure that this slit does not re-seal.  Brush pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, if desired.
• Place pot pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes.