When we think of comfort food, chicken potpie is at the top of our favorites list. It embodies the perfect contrast of textures, thanks to a flaky, buttery crust paired with a creamy filling. In our recipe, we knead garlic, herbs and Parmesan into a savory crust to add an extra punch of flavor.
Putting together a potpie requires patience. The dough needs to rest to relax its gluten, and the filling needs to cool completely to prevent it from melting the butter in the dough. Once assembled, be sure to cut slits into the top of the pie. This allows steam to escape without causing any tears in the dough.
To learn more, read “TT Culinary Institute: Chicken Potpie.”
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Total Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Crust:
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka
⅓ cup ice-cold water
Ice, for chilling
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup shortening, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg, beaten
For the Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 medium (4 ounces) cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small (8 ounces) russet potato, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 medium (6 ounces) carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into ½-inch pieces
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sherry
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
6 medium (1¼ pounds) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Make the crust: In a small liquid measuring cup, combine the vinegar, vodka and water. Fill with ice and chill until ready to use.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Parmesan, sugar, thyme, sage, salt and garlic. Add the shortening and use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour, creating cornmeal-size pieces. Add the butter cubes and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few pea-size butter pieces.
3. Pour ¼ cup of the ice-cold liquid mixture over the flour and stir with a fork. Add another 3 to 6 tablespoons of liquid and, with your fingertips, briefly mix into a shaggy dough. Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a loose ball and wrap in plastic wrap, using the plastic as an aid to tuck and seal the dough into a smooth 4-inch disk. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a 6-quart Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the potato, carrots and celery, then sprinkle with the flour, stirring to prevent any lumps.
5. Slowly pour in the sherry, chicken stock and milk, stirring constantly until incorporated. Stir in the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining filling ingredients, then let cool completely.
6. Assemble the pie: Preheat the oven to 350º. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to fit a 9-inch pie tin, then add the filling, smoothing the top with a spatula. Brush the edges of the dough with some of the beaten egg. Roll out the other disk of dough into a 12-inch circle and place over the pie to seal. Using scissors, trim the dough so it has a ½-inch overhang off the pie tin. Fold the dough over itself to tuck the edges, then crimp. Brush the entire top surface with the remaining beaten egg, then make 6 slits into the pie to release any air while baking.
7. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes before serving.