tarragon and sherry infused chicken pot pies with puff pastry lids

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One of my favorite weeknight meals growing up was a Marie Callender’s frozen chicken pot pie.  On nights where my mom couldn’t be bothered to make something from scratch, she would heat these up in the oven.  There was something so special about them – maybe because they were individually portioned, maybe because they reminded me of trips to our local Marie Callender’s to pick up pies, maybe because they are the quintessential comfort food – whatever it was, they always felt like a treat.

I know that creating a blog post about chicken pot pies is hardly novel.  But I wanted to experiment with new techniques here to see if I could improve upon an old, tried and true favorite.  First, I know that there are two schools of thought on this, but I am definitely in the puff pastry camp as opposed to the pie crust camp.  But I found that putting the puff pastry directly on top of the chicken filling would not create the lift and airiness that I knew puff pastry was capable of.  So I tried baking the puff pastry lid separately, and found that it rose beautifully.  I also infused the cream in the filling with fresh tarragon and spiked it with just a touch of sherry, adding a beautiful complexity to the dish that was addictive {I had a difficult time not eating all of the filling out of the pot by itself}.  This is the slightly grown up version of a dish that has brought a smile to my face since childhood.

Recipe after the jump…

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Recipe

Serves 2

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

  • 1 whole chicken breast, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 c. yellow onion, chopped {1 onion}
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub it with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through.  Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin.  Shred chicken with 2 forks or your fingers and set aside.  Increase oven to 400°F.

Add cream and tarragon to small saucepan and heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat and let steep while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Before adding the cream to the rest of the ingredients pour through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the tarragon.

In a separate small saucepan, heat the chicken stock.  In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.  Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Add the hot chicken stock and Sherry to the sauce.  Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and tarragon-infused cream.  Add chicken, carrots and peas.  Mix well.  Divide the filling equally among 2 ovenproof bowls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Beat egg with water to make an egg wash.  Cut pieces of pastry roughly the size of the serving vessels.  Place cut pastry onto parchment-lined baking sheet next to bowls.  Brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with fleur de sel or sea salt {I used Maldon} and pepper.  If desired, place a few leaves of tarragon on the pastry for decoration.  Bake pastry and bowls filled with filling for 10 to 12 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.  To serve, place pastry on top of filling.

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27 Responses to tarragon and sherry infused chicken pot pies with puff pastry lids

  1. I am also in the puff pastry camp for pot pies. These look wonderful. i love tarragon.

  2. LaurenG says:

    YUM! Where did you get those adorable dishes? Can you please post a similar recipe for steak and ale pie?

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha Bodes! The dishes are from Sur la Table – apparently, they are “indestructible” but I already broke one of the handles off one of them in transport (which I tried to hide in the photos)! Steak and ale pie is definitely in order! We should make it while you are up here one of these weekends! Love you!

  3. I have to disagree. I’m on team pie crust. These do look beautiful though. Chicken and tarragon is one of my favorite combos.

  4. Darya says:

    Definitely Puff Pastry.
    Beautiful post, Lindsay. I adore tarragon, and have tons of it in the refrigerator (I recently made home-made béarnaise sauce, it was fantastic), unfortunately, I am out of chicken. But I am planning to use your idea for baking the puff pastry separately for a typical Northern-French chicken stew. What a great idea! And boyfriends-husbands are bound to love it too!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Darya! Glad you are on team puff pastry too! 🙂 Ooh, can’t wait to read your post about the Northern-French chicken stew – that sounds fantastic! Yes, I think the chicken pot pie (or any pie really) really appeases anyone – young, old, male, female – it’s the great equalizer! 🙂 xo

  5. Beautiful execution, I’m with Darya, got to be puff! The marriage of tarragon and sherry was meant for chicken. Perfect comfort. I will be trying your recipe. Thanks.

  6. this look just beautiful, i love how you baked the pastry seperatly, i bet these taste just wonderful with the tarragon, i just love anything chicken and tarragon…lovely post..sarah

  7. Michelle says:

    Beautiful! (And I’ve got similar childhood memories of frozen pot pies, though mine are of Morton’s. We only got them when our parents went out and we were left with a babysitter. But I loved them.)

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Michelle! So funny about your similar chilhood memory…it seems like the dishes our parents felt guilty to give us were the ones we as children remember most fondly! xo

  8. petit4chocolatier says:

    Beautifully delicious 🙂

  9. Hi Lindsay!

    Oh, I am so with you and Ms. Darya on this one … it’s Team Puff Pastry all the way! Though I too would never turn down a pot pie made with any kind of crust, the light, croissant-like, buttery flakiness of the “puff” wins me over every time.

    (Hey, maybe we should get t-shirts made … TPP … what do you think, ladies? I think we’ve got something there … 😉

    And baking the puff pastry lid separately, Lindsay, brilliant! And the pics and pies, just gorgeous.

    xo!

    Christina

  10. Sam says:

    I’m definitely with you on the puff pastry side of life. And tarragon. Delicious! What a lovely recipe.

  11. Pingback: weekend wishes | Channeling Contessa

  12. Cecile says:

    This looks delicious! I, too, adapted Paula’s chicken pie recipe but not in the wonderful way you did!!

  13. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    On my to do lists…

  14. Pingback: Tarragon and sherry infused chicken pot pies with puff pastry lids | melisarosato

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