This heavenly rich dish of chicken with a smattering of mushrooms and root vegetables, enrobed in a silky sauce and topped with delectable puff pastry, is a modified version of Claridge’s Chicken Pie; serve with a side of mashed potatoes and green bean bundles.
For the crust:
- 2 lbs puff pastry, cold (2 packages of Tenderflake or Pepperidge Farm, frozen and defrosted)
- 2 eggs, beaten with a little water (for the egg wash)
For the filling
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
- 120 g (4 oz) side bacon, cut into 1/4″ strips (lardons)
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) small white or cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 120 g (4 oz) red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 a large onion)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2” pieces
- 80 g (1/2 c) petite green peas
- 10 g (1/4 oz) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 300 ml or 10 oz white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 450 ml (15 oz) chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 300 ml (10 oz) whipping cream
- 30 g (1 oz) butter
- 30 g (1 oz) all-purpose flour
Make the sauce
- Heat the oil In a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until the shallots are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the white wine, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half (about 6 minutes). Add the stock and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat until the roux is smooth and bubbling (about 3 minutes). Turn off the heat.
- Position a fine-mesh sieve over the saucepan with the roux. Drain the stock mixture through the sieve into the saucepan. Discard the contents of the sieve. Return the saucepan to medium heat, and whisking constantly, to reach a gentle simmer. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, reducing the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon (about 15 minutes). Season to taste, cover and set aside.
Make the filling
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Sauté the chicken meat until slightly browned (about 5 minutes). Transfer the chicken to the saucepan with the sauce (reserve the skillet). Bring the sauce to a light boil, then simmer the chicken over medium heat (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- While the chicken is simmering, sauté the bacon until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
- Drain all but 2 tbsp of the bacon fat. Sauté the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms until tender, adding a touch more bacon fat if needed. Set aside in another bowl.
- Using a slotted spoon, divide the pieces of chicken equally into the shallow casseroles. Then add divided portions of the vegetable mixture, petit peas, bacon and parsley. Divide the sauce between the dishes, filling each dish about 3/4 full. Refrigerate the dishes until completely cool (about 2 hours).
Add the pastry
- Preheat the oven to 425°F or 400°F Convection.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle about 30 x 60 cm (12 x 24″) and 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Starting in the upper corner, cut out enough lids to fit the shape of your shallow casseroles (place an empty dish on the pastry to guide you, leaving 3/4″ all around for overhang). Use a 2 cm (3/4″) straight round cutter to cut out a steam “chimney” in the centre of each lid.
- Using a 2″ fluted cutter, cut the same number of rounds of pastry as you have lids. Use the small, straight round cutter to cut a hole in the centre of each. These are the decorative rings for the chimneys. Brush a bit of egg wash around the edge of each chimney and place one decorative ring around each. Pat gently to seal.
- Cut strips of pastry, 3/4″ wide from the remaining pastry.
- Brush the rim of each dish with egg wash. Centre strips of pastry along the edges of each dish, pushing down gently to help it adhere to the rim, egg washing any pieces together until the entire rim is covered. Eggwash the entire strip and carefully drape the pastry lids atop each dish, allowing for 3/4″ overhang around all the edges. Press down gently on the edge, and flute it with your fingers. Brush each lid with egg wash.
- Place the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling in the centre.
- Cool for 3 minutes before serving with a dish of mashed potatoes and a bundle of green beans.
You can substitute cooked chicken or turkey when making the filling. Simply add the chopped, cooked meat to the sauce and reduce the simmering time to 5 minutes.