Happy Pi(e) Day! In honor of this national day of Pi(e)dom, this is the first of two Pi(e) Day installments. I’m starting with the savory tonight…Chicken Pot Pie with a Rosemary Pâte Brisée (fancy for butter pastry). Disclaimer: This isn’t a “fast recipe”…but I promise you, it’s worth the time!
Well, obviously, given my multiple posts leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day, I wasn’t aware until this morning that today was such a special day. I mean, not only is it Albert Einstein’s birthday but it’s National Pi(e) Day, for Pete’s sake.
This , of course, changed entirely my plans for supper tonight. Mr. Saucy was, at first, a bit chagrined (that’s fancy for put out) that he wasn’t gettin’ some sliders tonight. That is, until I told him I planned on makin’ some chicken pot pie. That man loves him some pot pie.
This is not a Swanson frozen meal here…it’s the real McCoy…so, given my definition of such, it contains all sorts of wonderful ingredients. And booze. I’m sure you’re shocked by that admission. And while the middle of this pot pie is chock full of the most delightful things, I have to say, the pâte brisée
just uppity for butter pie crust with a hint of fresh rosemary? That is the icing on the…pie!
There are a couple of ways to eat pot pie, it seems, and Mr. Saucy and I diverge in our methods. You see, he just loves to knock all that luscious pastry…all golden brown and crisp…right down into his pie. This makes the most God-awful mess of mush in his ramekin. But, to each his own. Right?
I, on the other hand, meticulously remove my golden-brown-crispy-flaky-halo-of-pot-pie-joy to my plate. Thereupon, I take one flaky morsel at a time and place it lovingly on a fork full of pot pie innard.
However you eat your pot pie, I implore you, try this recipe. Oh, sure, it’s not quick. But hey…I made it. On a work night. And without prior warning of the holiday for which it was prepared. You can do it too!
- FOR THE CHICKEN AND SAUCE:
- 4 chicken thighs, skin and bones intact
- 2 cups vermouth
- 2 cups water
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE VEGETABLES:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup leeks, white and light green, sliced length-wise and then in ¼ inch slices, soaked and drained
- 1 medium baking potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in ½ inch slices
- 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced in ½ inch slices
- ⅓ all-purpose flour, scant measure
- ½ cup baby asparagus, cut into ¾ inch segments (you could use frozen peas...I didn't have any)
- FOR THE PASTRY (Pâte Brisée):
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the stem. Don't cut them...just toss them in the food processor whole
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and put in freezer for 5 minutes
- 1 egg, beaten
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- Combine flour, salt, sugar and herbs in a food processor; pulse to mix.
- Add butter, a couple of pieces at a time and pulse the food processor until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. (If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.)
- Remove the dough from the food processor and place in a mound on a clean surface.
- Gently shape into a ball, flatten like a hamburger patty.
- Lightly dust with flour, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.**Note This re-chills the butter and gives the gluten in the flour time to relax.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make is easy to roll out.
- Using a rolling-pin, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a circle two inches larger than the diameter of the pie pan or ramekin you are using, about ⅛ of an inch thick.
- FOR THE CHICKEN:
- Place the thighs in a sauté pan large enough to fit the thighs on the bottom of the pan
- Add the vermouth and water (you may need a bit more water than mentioned, you want to cover the thighs completely).
- Add the rosemary, thyme and garlic to the pan.
- Cover and simmer, over medium to medium-high heat, until the thighs are completely cooked (about 35-40 minutes).
- When the thighs are cooked, using a slotted spoon, remove the thighs from the pan to a plate to cool.
- Also remove the herbs.
- Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, and continue to simmer until the contents reduce by about ⅓.
- Once the chicken thighs cool, remove the skin and discard.
- Remove the meat from the bones and dice.
- FOR THE VEGETABLES:
- In another sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the leeks and sauté for about 2 minutes. Do not brown the leeks, as you will get a bitter taste.
- Add the potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Stir and continue sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and stir. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add the reduced liquid to the vegetables and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Add the cubed chicken thighs and the asparagus pieces to the vegetable/cream stock mixture and correct seasonings (salt and pepper), if necessary.
- Place the entire mixture into a deep-dish pie pan, or individual 6-8 inch ramekins and place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
- Brush the edges of the pie pan or ramekin(s) you are using with the beaten egg.
- Drape the rolled-to-size pastry over the top of the pie pan and tuck the edges under.
- Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- With a sharp knife, cut vents into the top of the dough...it doesn't matter the shape...I did squiggle marks.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the contents are bubbling.
- Remove from oven.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.