“This is Desperate Dan territory. Making massive pies out of hot water crust pastry is always a good thing to do on a cold day. They’re warming and hearty and they set you up.”
–Richard Burr, finalist in series 5 of The Great British Bake Off
I blame The Great British Bake Off.
I am in love with the show. My beloved and I cuddle up in bed and watch (and rewatch) each series with the same intensity as a Blackhawks fan watching the Stanley Cup playoffs (yeah, we do that too). I want to be best friends with Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. I want to sip tea with Mary Berry and eat thick slices of Paul Hollywood’s bread slathered with jam. I want to ride a bus with Mark from Wales (series 1), talk plants with Victoria (series 3), and ask Richard (series 5) to build help me build a new countertop. Yeah. I’m one of THOSE people. And I’m not ashamed. I am, however, NOT a baker. But it’s no wonder that watching the show has me craving all sorts of pies and cakes.
El Niño has brought cold wet rain this winter, so after one GBBO meat pie episode, I felt that I’d like to try my hand at a chicken pie. My beloved was excited and couldn’t wait to see if I would succeed in avoiding the dreaded “soggy bottom.” But I whimped out. I left off the bottom crust and used puff pastry instead. I blended a bit of Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver to create a simple but tasty Chicken Pie.
Deep Dish Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
Makes a 9″ deep dish pie
Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The pastry needs time to rest before being placed on the pie. While it was resting, I poached my chicken and used the homemade stock; however, I suppose using precooked chicken and stock will also alter your time.
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1 sheet of frozen puffed pastry
flour for rolling pastry
4 large chicken legs, bone in (about2 lbs)
3 large leeks, dark green tops cut and reserved, the rest sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 Tbls. mixed peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic (1 of them minced)
5 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 tsp. coarse salt (divided)
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut to 1/2″ rounds (reserve trims for stock)
2 medium yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
12 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
1 cup white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
2 Tbls. corn starch
2 Tbls. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem)
1/4 tsp of dried cloves
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen shelled green peas
1 eggPrepare Pastry: Thaw pastry for 30 minutes. It should be workable, but not soft. Roll pastry on a lightly floured pastry cloth. You’d like the pastry to be 1/4 inch thick and approximately 2 inches larger than your pie pan top. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet. Cover tight with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least a 30 minutes. I made the mistake of trying to rush and put mine in the freezer. BAD idea.
Prepare Chicken and Stock: In a Dutch oven or stock pot, poach the chicken. Add chicken legs, leek tops and carrot trimmings, 2 cloves of garlic (smashed slightly), 1 tsp of salt, peppercorns, rosemary sprigs and bay leaf of cold water to cover (about 5 cups). Bring to a boil, and then simmer over a low heat for about 1 hour. Chicken should be tender and cooked through.
Remove chicken to cool. Once chicken has cooled, cut and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and discard the bones.
Strain the liquid into a bowl (discarding the bits and bobs), then return to the pot to boil over a medium heat for 20–30 minutes, until reduced. You will need 2 1/4 cups of the broth ready when you prepare the filling. Leave to cool.
Prepare the Pie Filling: In a large heavy pot, melt 5 Tbls butter over medium-high heat. Add the leek rounds, minced garlic, potatoes, and carrots. Cook, stirring regularly, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook for about 2 minutes until mushrooms are heated through. Add the wine and let it cook down for while you prepare the slurry. Keep an eye on the pan and stir to keep from sticking.
Prepare the Slurry: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and the cornstarch. Be sure that there are no lumps and starch is blended well.
Continue With the Filling: Stir in cornstarch slurry, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chicken, peas, parsley, nutmeg, ground cloves, and thyme. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to pie dish and allow to cool for atleast 10 minutes. The filling cannot be hot when placing the pastry on top.
Prepare Pastry Top: Create an egg wash by combining 1 egg and 1 tsp. water. Remove dough from refrigerator. With a large round pastry tip, cut a small circle in the center of the pastry. This allows the steam to vent. Then brush surface evenly with egg wash making sure that you cover the edges as well. Flip the dough and place it onto the cooled filling. Press lightly to seal the crust to the edges of the dish. Trim excess dough. Brush top of the dough with the remaining egg wash.
Bake: There is a chance that the pie may boil over, so transfer the pie to a baking sheet. Bake at 475°F for 10 minutes. Then cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent crust from burning, and continue baking for 25 minutes more or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden.
I highly recommend using the aluminum foil. You can see in the picture that the edges rise and brown first. If these aren’t covered, the edges will burn in waiting for the center of the crust to rise and brown.