Continuing on the theme of cold Ohio days, my husband chose to make something that we had seen in an issue of Food & Wine a while back, and were wanting to try. The finished dish was so hearty and comforting, a true “stick to your ribs” dish that’s perfect in the middle of winter.
Free-Form Chicken Pot Pie
modified from Food & Wine Magazine
1 (3.5 lb) rotisserie chicken
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil 4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 bay leaf
1/3 c. all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
2 tsp. chopped thyme
Pinch of smoked paprika
14 oz. frozen, all-butter puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1 large egg beaten with 2 tbsp. heavy cream
Remove all of the meat from the chicken and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, leek and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, then gradually whisk in the broth until smooth. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until no floury taste remains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the peas, thyme and chicken and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of smoked paprika. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 6 rounds; transfer them to the prepared baking sheet (I put the scraps there, too – no use wasting perfectly good puff pastry – you could probably avoid this problem but cutting into squares instead of circles). Brush the rounds with the egg-cream wash and bake for 15 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Ladle the chicken stew into bowls, garnish with the pastry, and serve.