This rustic pie is so good. I originally planned to make a chicken and root vegetable pot pie, but when I passed by the mushroom stall at the farmer's market on Sunday morning something went off in whatever lobe of the brain handles recipes. It sprang, fully formed, into view...a creamy pie with big chunks of chicken and mushrooms I think sometimes focusing on fewer ingredients really gives a dish so much more 'oomph'.
Buttery flaky strips of crust are woven over that delicious filling.
I used a mix of cremini, shitake, and button mushrooms, but you can use any kind you like.
The peas and leeks adds a little sweetness and color. I used thyme, but tarragon goes well with mushrooms, too. I love the pale green bits of leek, the darker green peas and thyme leaves, next to those black mushroom caps, it was almost a shame to cover it up.
But every pie needs a crust. I cut strips of dough from a single pie crust and lay them out over the filling, weaving them together the best I could. Don't make yourself crazy over this. You can see that I didn't :)
I just let the ends drape over the edge where they fell...remember this is 'rustic'. But hey, you can be a Martha Stewart minion if you want to. It's your call.
Chicken Mushroom Pie
oven to 350
1 unbaked pie crust, refrigerated (see recipe here)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- In a small saucepan, cover the chicken with cold water and bring to a simmer. Poach the chicken gently till barely done through, about 10 minutes, you don't want it to be rubbery, and it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut in large rustic chunks.
1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium leeks, peeled, sliced and well rinsed
3 pints mixed mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced or quartered (they shrink down quite a bit) You want a chunky texture.
- Melt the butter in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot. Saute the shallot and leek for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing for 5 more minutes over medium heat.
1/2 cup dry sherry (or another fortified wine like Marsala or Vermouth)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, heated in the microwave for 2 minutes
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen baby peas, no need to thaw
- Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the sherry and let it bubble away for a minute or so, still stirring.
- Add the hot stock and bring back to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken to the thickened stock, and the salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the pot simmer gently for a couple of minutes and then add the fresh thyme leaves and the frozen peas. Pour into a deep dish pie plate or a casserole and set aside while you roll out the crust.
- Roll out the crust on a floured board and cut into strips. Weave the strips across the pie, interlacing them as best you can...don't make yourself crazy.
- Bake the pie for about 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Be sure to lay a sheet of foil under the pie to catch any filling that might bubble out.
I had a little too much filling for my pie plate, so I made an extra mini casserole...