Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours + 20 minutes (45 minutes for the short version)
You can make individual pies with two crusts (top and bottom), or place the filling directly into the ramekin and cover with pastry: an ideal method for diabetics or people watching their figure! Personally, I prefer a deep rectangular baking dish that allows for a generous layer of filling and convivial family-style presentation.
You can make chicken pies in advance and even freeze them, provided they haven't been baked. Just take the pie out of the freezer and put it in the oven, doubling the baking time.
Method (long version)
- Place the chicken and vegetables into a large pot; simmer for at least 1 hour until the meat comes off the bones.
- Drain, reserving the liquid; cool until lukewarm and remove the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into pieces.
Method (short version)
You can use left-over chicken. Simply chop the vegetables and cook them in chicken broth.
Making the sauce
- Strain the cooking liquid, reserving 300 ml (1 1/4 cup).
- Prepare the béchamel sauce using the 300 ml of broth, 60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine, and milk for the remaining liquid.
- Simmer gently; season with the mustard, salt, white pepper and nutmeg.
- Sauté the mushrooms in a non-stick skillet until they give off their liquid; sauté in butter with the chopped shallot until lightly browned.
- Add the chicken pieces, vegetables and mushrooms to the sauce; let cool, or better yet, chill. If the filling is too hot, the bottom crust won't bake properly and you'll end up with unpleasantly soggy pale pastry on the bottom.
- Line the bottom of the baking dish with pastry, letting it hang over the edges of the dish.
- Pour in the filling; cover with puff pastry.
- Crimp the two layers of pastry together to seal them; place into a preheated 180 °C (350 °F) oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned.
- For a more professional look, brush the top crust with egg yolk mixed with a spoonful of water 10 minutes before the end of the baking time to give your pie a nice golden glaze.
Photo: Daily Sentinel, Timeless Classics
Hints & Tips