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Emerilís Chicken Potpies

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Piecrust
  • 2 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, and finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze


  • Coarsely chop 1 carrot and 1 celery rib. Peel and quarter 1 onion. Put them in a large stockpot and add the chicken, 1 bay leaf, the peppercorns, and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a platter. Strain the stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the stock is reduced to 3 cups. Let cool.
  • When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, cut the meat from the bones, and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Set the meat aside and discard the skin and bones.
  • To make the piecrust, combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry blender (or rub the mixture between your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using a fork, stir in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture is moist enough to hold together when gathered up. Shape into a smooth ball, being careful not to overwork the dough, then press into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop the remaining carrots, celery, and onion. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch the carrots and the peas in the boiling water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400?F.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and Essence. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, cream, and the reserved stock. Add the chicken, carrots, peas, and parsley. Season with the salt and pepper, and stir well.
  • Transfer the chicken mixture to a casserole dish or a large ovenproof skillet, or divide it among eight individual 2-cup baking dishes.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into a round or other appropriate shape a little larger than the dish or dishes. Cover the chicken mixture with the dough, and press the dough against the sides of the dish(es) to seal. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg glaze and cut several slits in it.
  • Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.