Comfort in a dish. Is there anything else to say?
Visit People Like Pie, the series that inspired this recipe.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced small (about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces), to make 2 cups (use breasts if you prefer)
Coarse salt and black pepper
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
About 8 medium crimini mushrooms, diced medium
1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
3 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
2 cups salted chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage or thyme
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 recipe (2 disks) Pâte Brisée pie crust pastry, cold
Making the Filling
1. In a heavy pan or Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Brown them on all sides, about 6-8 minutes.
2. Add the carrots and celery. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Use a wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir.
3. Add the onions and saute for about 4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and saute briefly until aromatic.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and chicken and stir to combine evenly. Add the chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to combine and ensuring browned bits are loosened from the bottom of the pan and incorporated. Allow to boil and thicken a bit for 1-2 minutes, then turn the heat to medium and stir in the cream and herbs. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Taste. If not drop-dead delicious, you may need to add a bit more salt and/or pepper. If you do, allow the flavors to combine for another 5 minutes and then taste again. When the seasoning is right, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Rolling the Pastry and Finishing the Dish
6. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with 1 Tablespoon of water in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
7. Choose a 2-quart baking dish for your pie. Roll one disk of Pâte Brisée to roughly the same shape as your baking dish, but 2-3 inches wider than the dish on all sides.
8. Transfer the pastry to the dish either by rolling it onto a rolling pin, or folding it into quarters and lifting it into the dish. Unfold or unroll the pastry into the dish and press the pastry into the inside corners of the dish. If should be hanging over all the sides a bit. Put the baking dish with the pastry in it into the refrigerator to rest while you work.
9. Roll the second disk of Pâte Brisée, again to roughly the same shape as the baking dish with an extra 2-3 inches on all sides.
10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with the rack in the middle position. Take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and spoon the filling into the pastry bottom. Lay the pastry top over the filling so that is hanging over a bit, evenly, all the way around. Use kitchen shears (or very clean scissors) to trim the overhang to about 1 inch. Press the edges together and roll them back toward the dish, away from the center of the pie. Crimp the edges as desired.
11. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the top of the pastry, covering it evenly. Use kitchen shears or a very sharp paring knife to cut slits about 1 1/2 inches long into the top crust in an attractive pattern to allow the steam to vent while cooking. Slide the pie into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and everything is bubbling on the inside.