Chicken Potpie

Chicken potpie is both an example of the best of American home cooking and a kind of culinary miracle worker, with a creamy sauce and a flaky pastry lid that are guaranteed to calm even the most jangled nerves. Both the pastry and the filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before assembling and baking.
Photo by Regina K.

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 6

    tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2

    lb. button mushrooms, quartered

  • 1

    cup chopped leeks, white and pale green parts

  • 1/2

    cup finely diced carrots

  • 1/3

    cup fresh or thawed frozen peas

  • 1/3

    cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour

  • 4 1/2

    cups chicken stock

  • 1/3

    cup dry sherry

  • 2

    tsp. minced fresh tarragon

  • 4

    cups shredded cooked chicken

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Basic pie dough for a double-crust pie (see recipe at left)

  • 1

    large egg

Directions

To make the sauce and vegetables, in a large frying pan, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the leeks and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peas. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 5 Tbs. butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let bubble gently for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the stock and sherry and then the tarragon. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Stir in the shredded chicken and the mushroom-leek mixture and season with salt and pepper. Let cool until lukewarm, about 1 hour. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Spoon the chicken mixture into six 1 1/2-cup ovenproof soup crocks or ramekins. Place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with flour. (If the dough is chilled hard, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes until it begins to soften before rolling it out.) Roll it out into a rectangle about 20 by 13 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch saucer as a template, use a knife to cut out 6 rounds. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Lightly brush each round with the egg. Place 1 round, egg side down, over each ramekin, keeping the pastry taut and pressing it around the ramekin edges to adhere. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops with the egg. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer each ramekin to a dinner plate and serve. Serves 6. Variation: Use biscuit dough (see recipe at left) in place of the pastry dough. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick, then cut out rounds to fit just inside the rim of each ramekin. Bake at 400°F until the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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