In a matter of days we went from two feet of snow to temperatures that allowed for eating outside. Spring is around the corner, but we’re not quite there yet. For me, that is the perfect time for preparing this Chicken Pot Pie, the ultimate American family dish. Just about everyone here has been handed down a potpie recipe stemming from grandmothers or even great-grandmothers that explains how to make the best of leftover chicken (or turkey, especially in the days after Thanksgiving) or how to create it from scratch. This recipe is perfect for dinner parties, since you can prepare the filling ahead of time. A classic Chicken Pot Pie doesn’t have a lot of veggies, usually just peas and carrots (not my favorite combination). That’s why I created one with leeks, tarragon, mushrooms, and mustard, which has become our own family favorite.
Supper, serves 4-6
Action Time: 35 minutes + 20-60 minutes in the oven
6-7 chicken thighs (or 1 pound/500 g leftover chicken)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 stems of celery stalks, finely chopped
3-4 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
½ pound crimini mushrooms or shiitake, sliced
leafs of 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon (or 2-3 tsp dried tarragon leaves)
3 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus extra
10 fl oz/300 ml vegetable or chicken broth
5 fl oz/125 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, lightly beaten
Extra: a greased baking tray, oven dish (10-11 inch/26-28 cm)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. (If you use leftover chicken, skip the rest of step 1.) Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Arrange the thighs on a greased baking tray and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until done. Take out of the oven and let cool until lukewarm or cold. Remove the skin and separate the meat from the bone and shred.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan (or Dutch oven) and cook the celery, carrots, and garlic 1-2 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and tarragon and bake for 5 minutes until the leeks are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Mix in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the broth and cream and let simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Mix in the mustard and shredded chicken and remove the pan from the heat.
4. Spoon the mixture into an oven dish. From the puff pastry sheet, cut a circle that has the same diameter as the oven dish. Drape the sheet over the filling in the dish. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the puff pastry with the egg wash. Using a knife, make little cuts in the dough so steam can escape. Bake the pie 20-25 minutes in the oven until the crust is golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.