Last Sunday we had the family around for dinner. The weather was “brisk” to put it kindly, so I wanted to serve something comforting, which could be prepared in advance. Turning to the Fine Cooking website, I came across this modified version of a classic, Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel and Muschrooms in a Potato Bowl, and decided to modify it still further.
Discarding the notion of piping mashed potatoes into an artistic bowl, I decided instead to serve a scoop of mashed potatoes in the centre of a soup plate, and surround it with the filling for the chicken pot pie. It was a hit – barely a morsel survived as leftovers for the next day, in spite of doubling the recipe.
The ultimate comfort food.
- • 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- • 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
- • 2 Tbs. olive oil
- • 2 Tbs. instant-blending flour
- • 2 cups homemade chicken broth
- • 2 cups sliced mushrooms, such as oyster, hen of the woods, or chanterelles
- • 2 cups small-diced fennel (from 1 medium bulb)
- • 1 cup small-diced carrot
- • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- • 2 lbs Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
- • 1/4 c milk
- • 2 oz unsalted butter
Make the stew
- Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in a 10- to 11-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the pan and saute until translucent. Sprinkle the flour over the onions. Stir for 1 minute until well incorporated. Gradually whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer gently, turning once, until the chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and let cool briefly.
- Meanwhile, stir the mushrooms, fennel, carrot,and thyme into the sauce. Cover and simmer until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and keep warm.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, shred into bite-size pieces (discard the skin and bones), and add to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Make the whipped potatoes
- Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put them in a 6-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover and 2 tsp. salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce the heat as needed to keep the water from boiling over, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain well.
- With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the potatoes until they are broken up, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk and the butter, and beat on high speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot occasionally, until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Scoop a mound of potatoes in the centre of each soup plate. Spoon the stew around the potatoes and serve immediately.
- Serving Size: 6