Herb Crust Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Nothing is more comforting to me in the fall than chicken pot pies. A warm and super-filling inside with a crisp buttery outside it’s one of my husband’s favorite meals. There’s so many things to love about this version of the classic pot pie! There’s only crust on the top which makes it a little more health-conscience, the crust has fresh herbs pressed right into it so it looks & tastes amazing and the chicken is cooked within it’s own stock making it super tender and you have some leftover for other recipes! This is a labor intensive recipe but it’s really worth it… it makes eight “mini” pot pies (I put that in quotations because I couldn’t even finish one!) and you could make all of them and freeze a few for a later time, which is what we did!

For the crust, you’ll need to make one recipe of pate brisee (omitting the sugar) and you get the recipe for that and see how it’s made in this post.

Start by making the chicken and the stock for the filling:

Chicken Pot Pies 1-6

1. In a large stock pot, put a 4 lb whole chicken thats been thawed, giblets removed and patted dry with a paper towel.

2. Add 4 cups chicken stock (get the recipe for my homemade stock here)1 large white onion that’s been cut into quarters, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 2 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig rosemary and 2 celery stalks cut into 3″ pieces.

3. Add enough water to the pot to cover the chicken, cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and bring to a simmer, then simmer for one hour.

4. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool slightly on a cutting board.

5. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and cut the meat off the bones. Use two forks to shred the meat and discard the bones.

6. Pass the stock that’s left in the pot through a fine mesh sieve (you can line it with a cheesecloth to catch any tiny bits). Reserve 2 cups of this stock for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

Next, make the filling for the pies:

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1. Melt 5 tbsp unsalted butter in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, then add in 2 russet potatoes that have been peeled and diced into small pieces and 12 pearl onions that have been peeled. Cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes start to turn golden.

2. Add in 1 leek (just the white part) that’s been sliced, 2 carrots that have been peeled and sliced into rounds, 6 oz white mushrooms that have been sliced and the kernels from 2 cobs of corn. Cook for 5 minutes more until all the vegetables have softened.

3. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute more.

4. Pour in the stock we reserved earlier and 1 cup whole milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubble, 2-3 minutes.

5. Pour the filling into a large mixing bowl and add the shredded chicken, 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage and the zest of 1 lemon. Mix well and taste, then season heavily with salt and pepper.

6. Fill eight 4″ x 2″ ramekins almost full with the filling.

Next prep the crust and finish the pies:

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1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your dough to 1/4″ thick and arrange some fresh herbs on top.

2. Press the herbs into the dough, and roll out to 1/8″ thick. The herbs don’t stick as well as I would’ve liked, next time I might try working them right in to the dough. It won’t look as good but it would at least stick better. Cut out 4.5″ fluted rounds, brush the edge of the ramekins with a beaten egg and lay them on top of each ramekin, pressing to seal. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

3. Place on baking sheet and use a paring knife to cut 4 vent slits in the middle of the dough and then mix your leftover beaten egg with 1 tbsp water and brush that egg wash over each pie.

4. Cook until golden brown and bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Herb Crust Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Serves 8

For the Pate Brisee Crust

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 -1/2 cup ice cold water

Fresh whole herbs (dill, sage, rosemary)

1 Large egg, lightly beaten

For the chicken and stock

4 lb whole chicken, thawed with giblets removed and patted dry with a paper towel

4 cups chicken stock

1 large white onion, peeled & quartered

2 bay leaves

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 sprigs parsley

1 sprig rosemary

2 stalks celery, cut into 3″ pieces

For the Filling

5 tbsp unsalted butter

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

12 pearl onions, peeled and if large cut in half

1 leek, sliced white parts only

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

6 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 cobs of corn, kernels sliced off

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp fresh chopped sage

Zest from 1 lemon

Salt & pepper

Make the crust dough by pulsing the flour and salt in a food processor. Add in the butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add in the water, starting with 1/4 cup until the dough just starts to pull together… don’t add too much! Dump out onto your counter, divide into two discs and wrap in plastic. Store in the fridge for 1 hour (up to 3 days) or freeze for up to 3 months.

In a large stock pot, put the chicken, stock, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, rosemary and celery. Add enough water to the pot to cover the chicken, cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and bring to a simmer, then simmer for one hour. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool slightly on a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and cut the meat off the bones. Use two forks to shred the meat and discard the bones. Pass the stock that’s left in the pot through a fine mesh sieve (you can line it with a cheesecloth to catch any tiny bits). Reserve 2 cups of this stock for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

To make the filling: Melt butter in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, then add in potatoes and onions. Cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes start to turn golden. Add in leek, carrots, mushrooms and cornCook for 5 minutes more until all the vegetables have softened. Stir in flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute more. Pour in the stock we reserved earlier and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubble, 2-3 minutes.

Pour the filling into a large mixing bowl and add the shredded chicken, parsley, sage and lemon zest.  Mix well and taste, then season heavily with salt & pepper. Fill eight 4″ x 2″ ramekins almost full with the filling.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your dough to 1/4″ thick and arrange the fresh herbs on top. Press the herbs into the dough, and roll out to 1/8″ thick. Cut out 4.5″ fluted rounds, brush the edge of the ramekins with the beaten egg and lay them on top of each ramekin, pressing to seal. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Place on baking sheet and use a paring knife to cut 4 vent slits in the middle of the dough and then mix your leftover beaten egg with 1 tbsp water and brush that egg wash over each pie. Cook until golden brown and bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

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