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Mini Chicken Potpies with Herb Dough

These savory potpies have the leaves and fronds of whole herbs rolled into the dough that tops them -- the result is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

  • Yield: Makes eight 4-inch pies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2005

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into thirds
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 9 ounces medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 12 white, red, or yellow pearl onions (halved lengthwise if large)
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and rinsed well
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 ounces white mushrooms, halved lengthwise (quartered if large)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pate Brisee for Mini Chicken Potpies
  • 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herb leaves, such as flat-leaf parsley, sage, chives, thyme, dill, rosemary, and oregano
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Put chicken, stock, large onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme sprigs, and celery in a large (8-quart) pot. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Cover pot; bring mixture to a boil. Uncover; reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour.

  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board (reserve stock in pot). Remove skin from chicken; discard. Cut meat from bones; discard bones. Using a fork, shred meat into bite-size pieces; set aside.

  3. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Set aside 2 cups stock. (Reserve remaining stock for another use; cooled stock can be frozen in an airtight container up to 4 months.)

  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and pearl onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add leek, carrots, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute.

  5. Stir in reserved 2 cups stock and the milk. Bring mixture to a simmer; cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken, parsley, thyme leaves, zest, salt, and pepper.

  6. Divide chicken mixture among 8 (4-by-2-inch) ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Let cool slightly.

  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pate brisee on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Arrange mixed herbs on top; roll out dough with a lightly floured pin to 1/8 inch thick, gently pressing herbs.

  8. Using a fluted (or plain) round dough cutter (4 1/2 inches in diameter), cut out 8 rounds from dough. Lightly beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush top edges of ramekins with egg wash. Place a dough round over each ramekin; gently press to seal. Chill in freezer until dough is firm, about 10 minutes.

  9. Brush dough with egg wash. Cut 4 slits in top of each round for steam vents. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.

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