Modern Chicken Potpie
Here's a radical notion: chicken potpie does not have to be filled with goopy white sauce, carrots and peas. Traditional recipes are long on starch and richness, short on flavor. This updated version is savory with chicken stock, herbs, and wine (no white sauce needed), easier to make, and still familiar. Use thigh meat, for more taste and better texture than breast. And vegetables should be served separately, not forcemarched into the filling. Roasted carrots, peas with mint and buttered steamed asparagus are all nice to serve alongside chicken potpie.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 6ounces bacon or pancetta, preferably thick-cut, sliced into strips
- 1medium onion, chopped
- 8ounces mushrooms, such as button or cremini, thickly sliced
- ¼cup all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- ½teaspoon paprika
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2tablespoons butter
- 2 ½cups rich chicken stock
- ¼cup Marsala, Madeira or sherry
- 1tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2tablespoons finely chopped parsley, more for garnish
- 10-inch pie crust, chilled, or 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Step 1Heat oil and garlic together over low heat. When it sizzles, add bacon and onions and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown. Adjust the heat so the bacon slowly gives up its fat. Remove garlic clove and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and slightly softened.
Step 2In a sealable plastic bag, combine flour, thyme, paprika, 2 large pinches salt and 1 large pinch pepper. Add chicken and shake well to coat.
Step 3In the skillet with the bacon and mushrooms, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and any flour that remains in the bag. Cook, stirring, until chicken pieces are golden and the flour on the bottom of the pan is browned. Pour in stock, Marsala and vinegar. Scrape bottom of pan, and let simmer about 5 minutes, until thickened. Taste for salt, pepper and vinegar and adjust the seasonings. Turn off heat and stir in parsley.
Step 4Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 5Transfer chicken and sauce to 9-inch round pie dish or 8-inch square baking dish. Roll out pie crust to desired shape and size. Drape crust over filling, making a few slits or decorative holes on top. Tuck edges down around filling and brush crust with egg wash. If the dish is piled high with filling, place on a baking sheet to catch any overflow before transferring to oven.
Step 6Bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 7Let cool slightly, at least 10 minutes, before serving with a big spoon. If desired, garnish each serving with parsley.