Skillet Chicken Potpie
Using store-bought puff pastry instead of homemade pie crust for a chicken potpie might seem like cheating, but rest assured it’s for the best, adding shatteringly flaky layers that even the best pie crust lacks. This recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs, so that the chicken fat rendered from searing can serve as the base of the gravy. But for a weeknight-friendly version, shredded rotisserie chicken can be used instead. Just use a tablespoon or two of butter to replace the fat. (A note about store-bought puff pastry: No two brands are the same size, but know that all you need is to cover the surface of the skillet. If it’s larger than expected, feel free to trim or crimp the edges like a pie, and if it seems too small or is a strange shape, simply roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface to increase its dimensions.)
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs (smaller work better here)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 3small carrots, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
- 3celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
- 2garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1medium onion, finely chopped
- 1tablespoon thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
- ⅓cup all-purpose flour
- 3cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 1cup frozen peas, thawed
- ¼cup finely chopped parsley
- 1(12-or 14-ounce) sheet (or 2 8½-ounce sheets pressed together at the edges) frozen puff pastry, thawed, rolled into a 12-inch circle
- 1large egg, beaten
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy bottom skillet) over medium heat. Sear chicken, skin-side down, until deeply golden brown and some of the fat has begun to render out, 5 to 8 minutes. Rotate chicken and continue to cook on all sides until evenly browned and cooked through, an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken, keeping all the drippings in the skillet, and let cool slightly on a plate.
Step 3To the drippings, add carrots, celery, garlic, onion and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and just cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat all the vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has started to turn a light golden brown with no white, floury bits left, about 3 minutes.
Step 4Slowly add the chicken broth or stock ½ cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to blend and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Once all the broth or stock is added, bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
Step 5Remove the bones and skin from the chicken and shred the meat and skin (discard any skin that is too thick or rubbery) into bite-size pieces or, alternatively, cut it with a knife and fork into bite-size pieces. (If you discover at this stage any pieces of chicken that are not completely cooked through, don’t worry; they will finish cooking in the oven.) Add the peas, parsley and chicken and season once more with salt and pepper.
Step 6Carefully unfold the puff pastry and working quickly, place it on top of the skillet (do not worry about it being a perfect circle), letting some of the dough hang off the sides (this will keep it from shrinking too much).
Step 7Whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush onto the top of the puff pastry. Cut three 2½-inch slits, about 1-inch apart and place the skillet on top of the sheet pan to catch any drips in the oven.
Step 8Bake until puff pastry is golden brown on top and filling is starting to bubble up, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and continue to cook until puff pastry is baked through all the way and filling has thickened considerably, another 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 9Remove from heat and let cool slightly before eating.