French Chicken Pot Pies Recipe
Make-ahead pies from the Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten.
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on (2-1/2 lb.)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (4 leeks)
2 cups (1/2″-diced) carrots (5 carrots)
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stems discarded; sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade (recipe below)
6 tbsp cream sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz.) package frozen peas
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
Fleur de sel
Homemade Chicken Stock
3 (5-lb.) roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved crosswise
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds crosswise
4 parsnips, unpeeled and halved crosswise
20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns (not ground)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Roast for 35 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Step 4: Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat in 3/4″ dice. You should have about 5 cups of chicken.
Step 5: Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Add the leeks and carrots and sauté over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and tarragon and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and sherry, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add the cream, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and chicken, taste for seasonings, and pour the mixture into six (2-cup) ovenproof serving bowls.
Step 6: Raise the oven to 400°F.
Step 7: On a lightly floured board, roll each pastry to an 11″ square. Cut out 2 circles from each sheet of pastry that are each 1/2″ larger than the rim of the bowl. Brush the outer edges of the bowls with the egg wash. Place a pastry circle over each bowl, adhering it with the egg wash. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Make three 1″ slits in each pastry for steam to escape. Refrigerate the pot pies for at least 30 minutes.
Step 8: Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Serve hot.
Make it ahead: Assemble the pot pies completely, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen) and bake before serving.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Step 1: Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt and peppercorns in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 4 hours, skimming off any foam that comes to the top. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids.
Make it ahead: Prepare the stock completely, let cool, then pack in containers, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
Reprinted with permission from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead (2014 Clarkson Potter).