Chicken Potpie with Phyllo Crust Recipe
Just after 9/11, Marian Burros wrote this wonderful cookbook, Cooking for Comfort (Simon and Schuster, 2003). It has all those classic recipes you remember from your childhood. A must-have for novices and experts alike, and one of our go-to cookbooks for just about any recipe you are hankering for on that cold rainy day, or when the House and Congress just can't seem to get their collective acts together and the country seems doomed to financial disaster -- and those idiots in Washington just don't seem to have a clue how the 98% of our population live.
So, if you are looking for a chicken potpie that reminds you of Mom's (provided, of course, that your Mom was a decent cook), then this is the one for you. It has rich flavor, and is not all "pale, gluey, and tasteless with pits of pimiento floating around in it." We changed a few things -- but not much.
1 heaping cup of pearl onions
1-1/2 pound skinless chicken breast
1-1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
20 baby carrots
1 leek - white part only - trimmed and sliced
4 sprigs of thyme, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, washed, stemmed, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup AP flour
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Phyllo Topping - purchased at the grocery store
1. Blanch pearl onions for 30 seconds in boiling water and drain. Cut off root ends and slip off outside skin. Set aside.
2. Cut each whole chicken breast into quarters. In a pot, combine the chicken breasts and thighs, onions, carrots, leeks, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Season with the salt and pepper. Add water just to cover. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
3. Meanwhile, tri, seed and halve the peppers. Cut each half into thin strips, then cut the strips in half. Heat the oil in a saute pan, and saute peppers over medium-high heat until they are soft. Stir in mushrooms and saute until they are soft - about 4 minuted, Set aside.
4. When chicken is cooked, strain and reserve liquid. Let the chicken cool, remove meat from bone, and cut meat into 1-inch chunks. Add the chicken meat to the peppers and mushrooms. Add the pearl onions. Cut twelve of the carrots in half and add. Stir in peas, lemon juice, and chopped thyme. Discard the leek, thyme sprigs and the remaining carrots (or use for something else.)
5. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in saute pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Return to heat and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until blended and bubbling. Remove from heat and stir into the stock. Return to the heat, and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens. Take the pan from the heat, cool slightly, and stir in cream. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg - and stir into chicken and vegetable mixture. Adjust seasoning.
6. Place rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees
7. Open package of phyllo dough and cover with damp towel.
8. Place a stack of 8 phyllo leaves on a work surface. Trace the top of a deep 10-inch baking dish on the pile. Cut the phyllo leaves to fit and then cover again with damp towel. Wrap remaining leaves in an airtight bag to use on something else. They will keep about a week.
9. Spoon the chicken and veggie mixture into the baking dish.
10. Remove one phyllo leave, brush it with some melted butter, and place it butter side up on top of the potpie filling. Butter the next leaf and place it on top of the first - butter side up. Repeat until all 8 eaves are used. Brush butter on top of the final leaf. Tuck the edges of the phyllo into the dish. Cut a 1-inch hole in the middle of the phyllo to allow steam to escape.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top if golden brown.