Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
A comfort food classic, chicken pot pie becomes an impressive party-worthy dish when you top it with pastry cutouts. Here we use star cookie cutters arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree for a pie that’s perfect for holiday celebrations, but you can take this idea in any direction you like. Use leaf-shaped cookie or piecrust cutters for an autumnal dinner centerpiece, or use heart-shaped cutters for Valentine’s Day or a romantic dinner.
For the filling:
- 14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) (7 oz./220 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. (5 1/2 oz./170 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) dry sherry
- 2 Tbs. chicken demi-glace
- 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into slices 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick
- 3 oz. (90 g) button mushrooms, diced
- 6 oz. (180 g) small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 3 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 1 1/4 lb./625 g)
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) fresh or frozen peas
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 batches basic pie dough
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
To make the filling, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells fragrant and nutty, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and demi-glace. Slowly add the stock, whisking until smooth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the thyme, bay leaf, onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, chicken and peas, and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the potatoes are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 batch of the pie dough into a 15-inch (38-cm) round. Carefully roll the pie dough around your rolling pin and transfer to a 12-inch (30-cm) skillet. Ease the dough into the skillet, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Lightly brush the edge of the pastry with water.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the second batch of dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) round. Place the pastry round on top of the filling and press the edges of the dough to the bottom crust to seal. Using kitchen scissors, trim any excess dough hanging over the edge of the skillet. Using a small, sharp knife, cut about 4 slits in the crust to allow steam to escape during baking. Brush the pastry with some of the egg mixture and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.
While the pot pie is baking, make the pastry cutouts. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the third batch of dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) round. Using star-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes, or using cookie cutters in your desired shape, cut out shapes from the dough. Brush the cutouts lightly with some of the remaining egg mixture. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cutouts. (Watch them carefully, as smaller pieces will be done before larger ones). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Decorate the top of the pie with the decorative cutouts as desired. Sprinkle with a little more flaky sea salt and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen