This weekend we pulled out Meat: A Kitchen Education by James Peterson and decided to tackle the pot pies. Because what are weekends for other than taking on big project recipes? And sleeping until 11, of course.
Meat is such a great cookbook for the carnivore in your life who wants to experiment with new meats like quail, venison, or pheasant. Honestly, I don’t adore the photos inside, but it’s an amazingly well-researched and thorough book and we cook from it a lot. Also, it’s called Meat, and there’s a beautiful picture of a giant hunk of steak on the cover. So I was kind of forced to buy it for Jarrett a few Christmases ago.
This recipe was one of those should’ve-been-easy-but-things-got-complicated recipes. You know what I’m talking about. It seemed almost too easy for a weekend recipe—just toss some chicken, veggies, cream, and stock in a cute baking dish, throw a crust on it, and bake! So easy. Not.
It was mostly my fault: I decided to make my own pie crust instead of using store-bought puff pastry like James Peterson recommended. My pie crust tore, but Jarrett swooped in and unexpectedly saved the day. He’s now officially The Crust Whisperer.
And then I realized I didn’t actually have chicken stock. So I threw some chicken bones, mushrooms stems, onion skins, celery, salt, and peppercorns in a saucepan and improvised myself some stock.
After all that, it turned out delicious and flavorful and fragrant, and Jarrett near died from food happiness. He always loves my food, but I swear he was absolutely losing his mind over this pie.
This pot pie only has a top crust, so you never have to worry about a soggy, goopy bottom crust. The duo of chicken thighs and chicken sausage elevates it to a whole other level. Double meat = dude approved meal!
Homemade pie crust [great recipe here]
One 1-pound package of puff pastry (all-butter, if possible), thawed overnight in the refrigerator if frozen
2 stalks of celery
1 large carrot
½ medium onion
5 medium mushrooms
3 chicken thighs, bones removed
1 very large (or 2 medium) mild Italian chicken sausage
Freshly ground pepper
Butter, for greasing the pan
Leaves from 3 bunches sage
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon salt
1. Thinly slice the celery, and peel and thinly slice the carrot. Chop each mushroom in half then thinly slice it. Roughly chop the onion to be more or less the same size as the other vegetables.
2. Chop the chicken into about ¾ inch cubes. Remove the casing from the sausage and roughly chop it so that it is in small, crumbly pieces.
3. Butter an 8-inch pie plate then add the chicken thigh, chicken sausage, and top with the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, then top with the celery, carrots, onion, and sage. Pour the broth and cream over everything, then season with salt and pepper again.
4. Smoosh everything down so it’s below the rim of the pie plate. (If the filling touches the crust, it will get soggy and not rise.) Roll out your puff pastry or pie crust to be about 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate, then trim it into a circle, place it over the pie, and press it firmly against the sides of the dish so it sticks. With a sharp paring knife, score whatever design you like on the dough, but be careful not to pierce through the dough. Brush the dough with the egg.
5. Slide the pie into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and puffy. Serve while still piping hot!
Note: You can also make this in individual ramekins or any other cute baking dish you have. Just make sure each container is filled ¾ of the way with ingredients and that you have enough pie crust to cover it.
Recipe adapted from Meat: A Kitchen Education by James Peterson.