Prep 2 hrs
Cook 20 mins
In 'Puff' by Martha Holmberg
- 2 1⁄2 lbs chicken thighs (or whole legs)
- kosher salt
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
- 12 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 cup fresh peas or 1 cup frozen peas
- heavy cream, for brushing the pastry
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, for dusting the pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer in a heavy flameproof pan, such as a large skillet or small roasting pan.
- Roast the chicken until tender and the juices run clear, or it registers 175° on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool until you can handle it easily.
- Pour all the fat from the pan into a small bowl; do not rinse out the pan; the cooked juices will be part of the sauce.
- Meanwhile, put the broth in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the carrots and cook until just barely tender, about 3 minutes; scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling broth and cook for about 30 seconds; scoop out and add to the carrots; set aside the vegetables and the broth.
- When the chicken has cooled, pull off the skin, cut off the meat, and cut into small pieces; add to the vegetables.
- Put the roasting pan over medium heat and add back about 2 tablespoons of the chicken fat.
- Add the flour and whisk to make a smooth paste.
- Cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, then slowly whisk in the broth to create a smooth sauce.
- Cook the sauce, whisking frequently, until it is reduced to about 3 cups, is very smooth, and has the consistency of thick gravy, 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a generous amount of pepper; taste for salt and add if needed.
- Preheat oven again, at 400°.
- On a lightly floured counter, roll the pastry just a bit larger than the size and shape of the top of your baking dish (at least 1 1/2 quart capacity); you can also make this using individual oven-proof bowls or ramekins.
- Slide the pastry onto a baking sheet and bake until puffed and light brown, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fold the cooked vegetables, the peas, and chicken into the sauce, and simmer gently to heat everything through.
- When the pastry is ready, scrape the filling into the baking dish, transfer the pastry top over the filling.
- Brush the top with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
- Return to potpie to the oven and continue cooking until the filling is hot and the pastry is deep golden brown, another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
- **You can prepare the chicken, vegetables, and sauce one day ahead; refrigerate the sauce separately.