Martha and I go way back. Years and years, actually. And somewhere along the way, we had a bit of a falling out. As I recall, I had tried several Martha recipes that just didn’t work out. Not even that I didn’t care for them. They just didn’t work as written. We parted ways around then, Martha and I.
Fast forward many years and I’m older, mellower and much more forgiving. So I’ve been giving Martha another chance. I recently made her Angel Food Cake and it was to die for. Her Coffee Cake Muffins … sinfully delicious. I was ready to trust her with my craving for a chicken pot pie with puff pastry crust.
Martha did not disappoint this time! This was a really, really tasty chicken pie and I loved the balance of chicken to vegetables. This was no bland pie (and I’ve had a few!) but you do need to be sure to season well with salt and pepper, depending on the saltiness of your chicken stock. Good seasoning will bring all the flavours together.
For my pies, I decided to start with a whole chicken, that I simmered it in a large pot with some celery, onion, carrots, peppercorns and a bay leaf for about 2 hours. I removed the chicken meat from the bird and strained the broth. I had enough chicken for the pies and some left over for a sandwich or two. As for the broth, I reserved the two cups for this recipe and was able to freeze another 4 cups for a future use. Bonus!
Of course, left-over chicken, poached or baked chicken breast meat and/or store-bought broth is just fine here. If you can though, I strongly suggest fresh carrots and thyme (frozen carrots are just never the same and fresh thyme leaves are such a nice touch in dishes like this!). Frozen peas are just fine, though. I just went with regular button mushrooms, rather than cremini and left out the cognac. It might be nice with it, but it was also nice without it and more kid-friendly for my household.
Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
Summary: A hearty chicken pot pie made easy with store-bought puff pastry for the topping.
- Frozen Puff Pastry, about 5-6 ounces
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12 ounces small cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed (I used regular button mushrooms)
- Optional: 1/3 cup cognac (I didn’t use)
- 2 cups homemade or store-bough chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup milk
- 5 cups cooked chicken, chopped in bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled green peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (if using dried thyme, use less, to taste)
- 3 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Do ahead: Thaw puff pastry and the roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4-inch thick square or rectangular larger than the dimensions of your baking dish (or dishes) by about 3 inches on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Remove chilled dough from refrigerator, and place on a cutting board. Place your intended baking dish directly onto the dough, with the opening side down. With a sharp knife, cut around the dish so that you have an even 3 inches around the dish on all edges. Return the dough to the baking sheet, wrap tightly with plastic, and chill for an additional hour.
- Prepare vegetables and chicken and have ready.
- In a large heavy pot, melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Cook, stirring regularly, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms are heated through. Add cognac (if using) and cook down for about 30 seconds. Add flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in chicken stock and milk. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, parsley, and thyme. Taste and season well with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer filling to your baking dish (or dishes) and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 425° F.
- Prepare your egg wash by combining 1 egg and 1 tsp. water. Remove dough from refrigerator and brush surface evenly with egg wash. Invert dough and place directly over the casserole, pressing lightly to seal overhanging crust to the side of the dish. Brush top surface of dough with egg wash. With a large round pastry tip or other small round object, cut a small circle in the centre of the pastry, removing the pastry circle. This allows the steam to vent.
- Transfer dishes to a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch any boil-over!). Bake for 10 minutes then cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent crust from burning, and continue baking for about 25 minutes more, or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden. Serve hot.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 55 min
Number of servings (yield): 8