The ultimate comfort food—creamy chicken and vegetable filling sitting beneath a thyme-infused Pâte Brisée crust. This dish is very popular with kids at the bakery. Poaching the chicken and using the poaching liquid for the required stock gives an extra dimension of flavor. If you are short on time, buy a roast chicken and shred three firmly packed cups, and use 2 1/2 cups canned stock. You will need ovenproof bowls or ramekins that each hold about 1 1/2 cups of filling.–John Barricelli
Chicken pot pie is never something that you just sort of casually toss together, and this insanely rich recipe is no exception. A labor of love, this mild-flavored yet exceptionally comforting version is best when started the day before, and perhaps best saved for the weekend, when you can make it in stages. A few notes:
You could simply make this in a single 3-quart gratin or casserole dish instead of in individual ramekins, using only one of the portions of dough. (Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to ramekins. Any smallish ovenproof vessel will work. Finally, another use for those onion soup bowls!)
If you’re not partial to thyme, substitute another herb or omit it.
To save time, rely on a rotisserie chicken or simply roast an extra one earlier in the week.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies Recipe
Hands-On Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes | Total Time: 4 hours, not including cooling | Makes 6 pot pies
- For the herbed pâte brisée
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water
- For the filling
- 1 whole chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
- 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1 parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 3/4 cup frozen pearl onions (or substitute fresh pearl onions, peeled and parboiled)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Pinch nutmeg (optional)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- Make the pastry
- 1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and thyme. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream, a little bit at a time, until the dough just comes together. You may not need quite all of the water. The dough should not be wet or sticky. If the dough is too dry and does not hold together, add a little more water.
- 2. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in 2 and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping them into flattened disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the filling
- 3. Rinse the chicken. Place it in a large saucepan or small pot, just large enough to hold the chicken comfortably, and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and skim the foam that is floating on the top of the water. Add up to 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot with a large slotted spoon and let cool. Pull the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the skin and bones.
- 4. Strain the stock through a fine strainer. Measure 2 1/2 cups and set aside. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for another use.
- 5. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the red onion, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnip, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer until evaporated. Add the flour, stir to blend with the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the 2 1/2 cups reserved chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced to the consistency of a thick white sauce, 7 to 12 minutes. Add the peas, pearl onions, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
- 6. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
- 7. Roll the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds slightly larger than the diameter of your ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Place the rounds on another baking sheet and set aside in the refrigerator.
- 8. Ladle the chicken mixture into the ramekins. The mixture should come all the way up to the top of the bowl so that the crust doesn’t sink into the filling and soak. Top each bowl with a round of dough, tucking the excess around the edges of the ramekins. Brush with the egg wash. Use a knife or scissors to cut a vent in the crust. Set the dishes on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the cooking, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Leftover Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust from Just a Taste
- Butternut Squash & Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie from Bitchin Camero
- Individual Chicken Pot Pies from Leite's Culinaria
- Shepherd’s Pie with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Smash from Leite's Culinaria
Individual Chicken Pot Pies Recipe © 2010 John Barricelli. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.