Chicken Pie

Credit: Guillaume Czerw

This pie is my “simmered at the last minute” dish! “Simmered,” because the chicken should cook gently inside the puff pastry; “at the last minute,” because the pie should be served as soon as it comes out of the oven. These two features represent an important part of the French culinary tradition and give the cook the sweet pleasure of waiting, and the guest the immediate joy of the flavors.



Step 1: Mushrooms

Pick over the mushrooms. Remove the stalks, wash the mushrooms, then cook them separately for 5 minutes, in a saucepan with a knob of butter. Season with salt and pepper, drain, and set aside to cool. Mix them, and take out 5 1/2 ounces (150 g) mushrooms for the filling. Put the rest aside.

Mince the shallots and the flat-leaf parsley.

You can also use hedgehog (sweet tooth) mushrooms or regular chanterelles in this recipe.

Step 2: Filling

Sear, clean, and remove the thighs and the breasts from the chicken.

Cut 9 ounces (250 g) of chicken breast and the foie gras into large dice. Grind 10 1/2 ounces (300 g) of meat from the thighs, using a mincer fitted with a medium plate. Coarsely chop the chicken liver and 5 1/2 ounces (150 g) of mushrooms.

Mix all these ingredients with the cream in a bowl set on ice. Peel and mince the shallots, then sweat them in a frying pan with a little butter. Add them to the mixture when cool. Finish by adding the eggs, one at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the filling carefully, and chill until ready to use.

Step 3: Chicken Gravy

Coarsely chop the carcass and the poultry trimmings. Melt the butter in a sauté pan until it is lightly browned. Brown the carcass and trimmings. Peel and chop the shallots, then add them. Moisten with the brown stock to cover.

Leave to simmer for 2 hours over low heat, then pass through a chinois, pressing down on the solids to squeeze out the maximum flavor.

Season to taste and set aside.

Step 4: Pie

Roll out half of the puff pastry to a thickness of one inch (2 mm), then mark out a circle 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and dock it with a fork. Roll out the second half of the pastry to a thickness of one inch (2 mm) and cut a second circle, 14 inches (35 cm) in diameter. Make a hole in the middle of this second circle using a plain, 3-inch (8-cm) stainless steel cutter.

Mix the yolks with the salt, to make a glaze. Brush it on to the edge of the 12-inch (30-cm) pastry circle to the width of the brush.

Place the cutter in the center, arrange a crown of filling around it, then cover with the second pastry circle. Gently press the edges with your thumbs to make a good seal between the two circles of pastry.

Brush the pie with the glaze, and then mark grooves in it, using the blunt side of a knife tip, and keep it cool. Repeat the glazing operation twice, leaving it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes between each coat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake the pie for 30 minutes.

Cover the pie with aluminum foil once the desired color is obtained.

Step 5: Plating

Sauté the mixed mushrooms in 3 tablespoons (40 g) lightly browned butter. Finish by adding the shallot and parsley, at the last minute.

Arrange the mushroom mixture in the center of the pie. Separately, serve the poultry juices in a gravy boat and the rest of mushrooms in a vegetable dish.

This pie can be made in individual portions. In this case, cut the puff pastry into eight circles of 4 inches and 5 inches (10 and 12 cm).

This recipe was originally published in "My Best Guy Savoy" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

Other recipes by Guy Savoy