Golden Chicken Potpie
In a hurry? Just cut the pastry round to fit inside the baking dish edge and lay it over the filling without sealing, then bake as usual. You can make puff pastry the day before and store overnight in the refrigerator. Or, use purchased puff pastry.
To freeze the extra puff pastry: Place the wrapped pieces in individual plastic freezer bags and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the puff pastry, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.
For the quick puff pastry:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
- 2 small carrots, sliced
- 1 cup mushroom caps, quartered
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
To make the quick puff pastry, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, scatter the butter over the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until the butter is the size of large peas and coated with flour. On medium-low speed, add the vinegar and then drizzle in the ice water until the flour mixture is moistened and starts to come together. You may not need all of the water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball and knead lightly until uniform. Roll out into an 11-by-17-inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Dust off the excess flour from the surface with a clean, dry dish towel. With a short side facing you, fold the bottom third up and then fold the top third down over it, as if folding a business letter. It should now measure about 6 by 11 inches. If the dough seems warm, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Once again, roll out the dough into a 11-by-17-inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick, and fold into thirds. Roll and fold one more time. Using the rolling pin, press the folded dough lightly on top to “lock” the folds. Cut the folded rectangle into thirds, and wrap each piece tightly with plastic wrap. For use in this recipe, refrigerate 1 piece for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Freeze the remaining pastry (see note above).
Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and warm the butter. Add the onion and celery and sauté until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrots and mushrooms and sauté 3 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring it to a simmer and reduce for 3 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until smooth. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot stock from the pan into the flour mixture, and then pour through a fine-mesh sieve back into the pan, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the diced chicken, return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl, let cool, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. The filling can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie dish. Pour the filling into the dish. On a floured work surface, roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Brush the top and bottom of the edge of the dish with some of the beaten egg. Lay the dough over the filling and trim so it hangs 1 1/2 inches over the edge. Wrap the dough around the edge and press firmly. Crimp the dough against the lip of the dish with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to relax the dough.
Brush the top of the potpie with the remaining egg. Cut a few vents in the center. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is hot and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).