Chicken pot pie is the quintessential childhood food for me. So rich and so creamy. Truly a hug from the inside…. However as an adult, I crave a more sophisticated taste and want a little bit more from my chicken pie. As a result, a grown-up version of this childhood dinner was born. It’s still rich and creamy, yet pleasing to the adult palate with flavors like tarragon and sherry. The creamy chicken with the crusty puff pastry topper is a winning combo.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut up into bite sized chunks)
4 oz frozen baby onion
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
7 oz pancetta
8 oz small button mushrooms
½ cup dry sherry
1 oz heavy cream
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
8 oz prepared puff pastry, room temperature
1 medium egg yolk, beaten with a bit of water
Fresh ground pepper
Heat up chicken stock, and cook the frozen pearl onions. Remove and set aside. Place the cut up chicken, thyme, and bay leaf in the stock gently simmering stock. Poach the chicken until done, about 5 or 6 minutes. Strain the stock into a cup. Remove the herbs.
Cut the pancetta into dices. Add a couple tbsp of butter to a sauté pan on medium/low heat and then add the pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is crisp. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Wipe out the pan.
Add 5 tbsp of butter to the saucepan. When it’s nice and foamy add the mushroom and stir-fry for about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in the sherry and bubble until reduced. Add the cooked pancetta and onions back to the pan and pour in the reserved stock. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the cream and bubble until reduced by 1/3. Add the chopped herbs and set aside. Check for proper seasoning and adjust if needed.
The lovely topper
Heat the oven to 400. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 thick. Cut out four rounds to match your soup bowl. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the pastry into diamonds. So in essence you score one way, then give it a 1/3 turn and score the other way. This makes for a very crusty topper. Brush the top with the egg wash then sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes then 2 more minutes with the door ajar to crisp up the crust.
Pour the chicken mixture into soup bowl. Top with a crisp disk of puff pastry and enjoy!