Chicken and Mushroom Pie ~ a classic chicken pot pie loaded with mushrooms and topped with a buttery lattice crust.
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.
Actually I don’t really mean that. If you go with all white button mushrooms your filling will be bland. As a general rule, the darker the mushroom, the richer the flavor, and mixing varieties gives a nice blend of flavors and textures. Mushrooms are the star players in this dish; go for some interesting ones.
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.
- 1 unbaked pie crust, refrigerated (see recipe here)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 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.
- 1/4 flour
- 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
- Set oven to 350F
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The flavor of the sherry is important, don’t skip it. I always keep a bottle of some kind of fortified wine in the cabinet, it keeps forever, and adds a very distinctive flavor to so many dishes. Marsala or vermouth will work, too. Some people like to brush their crusts with beaten egg or milk, which will make it more golden brown, but I don’t like the shiny finish.