Chicken Pot Pie with Apples and Mushrooms

Serves 4.

Time requirement: 2 hours of prepping and cooking with time between to cool the dish between steps. Plus, you need to make a pie dough, or you could use a prepared dough or puffed pastry.

Note a rich homemade chicken stock is a requirement for this dish. I do make a nod to the freezer with this recipe: peas and pearl onions. Pearl onions are a pain to peel and blanch, so I am taking a short cut with frozen pearl onions. Peas are not in season with apples, so I use frozen. But you could replace them with cooked sliced carrots.

What you will need:

1 pound of bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs.

2 teaspoons kosher salt.

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.

Apples, enough to produce 12 ounces of peeled bite size pieces.

1 small onion cut into quarters.

8 ounces of mushrooms cleaned and quartered.

4 ounces of frozen pearl onions. (thawed)

6-8 sprigs of thyme.

6-8 sage leaves.

1 cup frozen peas thawed. (Or 1 cup of cooked sliced carrots.)

½ cup white wine.

1 pint of a dark, rich, homemade chicken stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter.

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pie dough. The recipe is below.

A few more springs of thyme and a little more salt and pepper.

1 egg yolk.

Preparation:

Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Set them aside.

Prepare the apples and mushrooms.

Place the apples and mushrooms in a large oven proof roasting pan which you can cover. Add the quartered onion, thyme, and sage leaves. Toss all together with 1 teaspoon salt. Place the chicken thighs atop. Place the pan in the oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Then cover the pan and cook an additional 15-30 minutes (or until the chicken has browned and reached a 180 degrees F internal temperature). Remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stove top. Place the chicken thighs on a plate to cool. To the pan add the peas, thawed pearl onions, and wine and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on the stove top. Turn off the heat.

In the meantime, heat the stock in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer. In another saucepan make a roux from the flour and butter. Cook the roux for 5 minutes to cook the flour and give it a little color. Then whisk the roux, a little bit at a time, into the simmer stock. It will thicken. Pour the thickened stock into the roasting pan. Mix everything together.

Remove the bone and skin from the chicken (discard the bones and skin). Shred the chicken meat and mix it into the other ingredients in the roasting pan. Strip the leaves from 1-2 sprigs of thyme and sprinkle on the chicken along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Pour the chicken mixture into a pie pan and refrigerate.

When the pie is cool. Roll out the dough to an even thickness about 1/8 inch thick. Cover the pie with the dough. Curl the edges of the dough and cut the vents in the center of the dough. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven, with a sheet pan in it, to 350 degrees F. Cook the pie on the sheet pan for 35 minutes. During the last 8 minutes brush the pie with a whisked egg yolk. That will give it a nice golden finish. When done, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve on hot plates!

Pie Dough

Makes enough to line and top a 9-inch pie pan.

What you will need:

250 grams all-purpose flour.

125 grams unsalted butter (that’s about 10 tablespoons) icy cold and cut into 15-20 pieces.

½ teaspoon kosher salt.

1 egg yolk.

1 glass of ICE COLD water with a tablespoon handy. (A glass of water with ice in it.)

Preparation:

In the food processor bowl add the flour, salt, and butter. Process for 12 seconds. Add the egg yolk and process for 3-4 second. Add 2 tablespoons of ice cold water and process for 2-3 seconds.

Transfer the dough to a bowl. With your hands try to form the dough into a ball. It should do this easily. If not, you may need to add a little more ice-cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, because you cannot “un add” it. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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