Recipe of the Week: Chicken Pot Pie with Lemon-Rosemary Potato Crust
The ultimate comfort food, a steaming pot pie can make all your troubles disappear. Easy on the budget as well, it can be made ahead and even frozen. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Use shrimp, lobster or scallops as a filling variation of the classical dish.)
2 cups defatted chicken stock
1 pound chicken breast, skinless and boneless
8 fresh or frozen baby artichoke hearts
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup peeled, chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large boiling potatoes, preferably Yukon gold
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
To make the filling, bring the stock to a low simmer in a large stockpot. Add chicken and poach the meat for about 20 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink when cut. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside to cool. Poach the fresh artichokes, peas and corn for five minutes remove and set aside. Add the carrot and potatoes, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Dice the meat. Reserve the stock and set the vegetables aside.
Melt the butter in a deep skillet and cook the chopped onion, garlic and celery, stirring over medium heat until they are soft, then sprinkle in the flour and cook stirring, about three to five minutes. Add the milk and the poaching chicken stock in a slow stream, stirring, and bring to a boil. Add the thyme and nutmeg and cook about five minutes — the mixture should be thick. Add the peas and corn, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the diced chicken and the cooked artichokes, carrots and potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into a deep pie dish and make the potato crust.
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover them with a few inches of cold water and add the salt. Boil them for 20 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife.
Drain the potatoes thoroughly and put them through a ricer. Add heated cream and butter gradually to the potatoes, whisking briefly. Whisk in the salt, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and pepper. Taste to adjust the seasoning.
Cover pot pie with potato crust. Using a fork, make concentric circular marks in the potato topping. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately.