Pic by Paul Speed…..yum yum yum….
Pot pie is an American classic named after the deep dish in which it is cooked. From my book Potatoes, (Ryland Peters & Small) this is one of those most successful recipes that I cook again and again. It’s really simple, flavoured with porcini and tarragon and so good. Originally I made it with potato pastry, which gives a gorgeous fluffy lightness, but you can and I do most often, top it with shortcrust pastry.
Chicken Pot Pie – Chicken and Porcini Pot Pie
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 free-range chicken about 1.5-2 kg
3 carrots, chopped roughly
2 celery sticks, chopped roughly
1 bay leaf
1 few parsley stalks
1 onion. chopped roughly
15 g dried porcini
15 g butter
2 onions, chopped
4 slices of pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped
15 g flour
150 ml double cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
175 g plain flour
a pinch salt
75 g butter, diced
175 g mashed potato
1 egg yolk, beaten
Stuff the sprigs of tarragon into the chicken and put in a large pan with the carrots, celery, bay, parsley stalks and onion. Cover with 2-3 litres water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 1 hour or until tender.
Carefully hook out the chicken to a plate and cool slightly. Strip the meat from the chicken and separate into evenly sized pieces. Divide the meat between 4 small pie dishes or 1 larger one.
Strain the stock into a clean pan, discarding the vegetables and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half.
Put the porcini in a bowl. pour over about 250 ml boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, then strain, reserving the liquid. (There is often a gritty sediment from the porcini, so let it settle and leave it behind when pouring out or strain through kitchen paper.) Make up to 600 ml with the reduced stock. (Keep the remaining delicious chicken stock for something else. I usually freeze it til another time.)
Melt the butter in a pan, add the onions and porcini and cook gently for about 3 minutes. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften the onion and lightly colour the bacon.
Add the flour and cook without browning for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the stock, stirring until thick and smooth. Add the cream, chopped tarragon and half of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and season to taste, adding more lemon juice if needed, then remove from heat. Let it cool slightly, then scoop into the pie dish/es.
To make the pastry, sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the potato to form a soft but firm dough.
Roll out the pastry thinly (about 5mm) and cut to fit your dish. Brush the edges of the dish with water then cover with a pastry lid. Trim the edges, and use any excess to decorate. (See Gina’s Love Pie above/below for inspiration!)
Make a small steam hole in the middle and brush with beaten egg yolk. Cook in a preheated oven 200 C/400 F/Gas 6 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.