Serves 4 to 6
1 Roast Chicken With Sage, Garlic and Lemon, remove the chicken from the bones, shred the meat and discard the bones. (This can be done the day before and the shredded chicken refrigerated overnight in the 4 cups of chicken stock, and sauce from the roast chicken. Bring to room temperature the next day and separate the chicken from the stock.)
1 pound of assorted mushrooms, wild if available, cleaned and cut or broken into large pieces or slices
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, to taste, thinly sliced
zest from 1 medium lemon, use a microplane zester, or finely chopped
3 or 4 leeks,(depending on size) cleaned, trimmed, and sliced, you can substitute a medium yellow onion, diced
3 or 4 carrots,(depending on size) peeled, cleaned and cut into 1” thick pieces
2 stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into large pieces, about 1/2” thick
stems from one bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely diced
6 or more sprigs of fresh sage, leaves removed and roughly chopped, about 1/2 cup
4 cups of chicken stock, you may not need all of the stock
1 cup crème fraiche, or heavy cream
all purpose flour
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed (wait until last day, if making the recipe over 2 or 3 days)
several sprigs of fresh sage or sautéd mushrooms for decoration
1 egg and a tablespoon of milk or water for egg wash
Combine the sauce from the roast chicken, if available and the 4 cups of chicken stock in a sauce pan and warm over medium heat.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the mushrooms and toss to coat with the oil. Add 1/2 of the garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Sauté the mixture until the mushrooms start to get some color, about 5 minutes. Add a bit more olive oil, if the mixture is dry. When the mushrooms start to get some color, add a tablespoon or so of butter, 2 tablespoons of the chopped sage and toss or mix the mushrooms to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté for another 5 minutes. Next add several tablespoons of the warm stock to the pan and continue to cook for several more minutes until the stock has evaporated and the mushrooms are coated with the sauce. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and reserve in a large bowl.
Add an additional tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, over medium heat. When the butter is melted add the carrots, diced parsley stems, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the leeks, with a pinch of salt, and continue to sauté until the leeks start to soften. Add the lemon zest, remainder of the sage and garlic and continue to cook for several minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
Add an additional tablespoon of butter to the pan. When it is melted, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the vegetables. Stir to combine and continue to cook and stir for several minutes. (You want to cook out the flour taste and allow it to absorb the butter and oil in the pan. You are making a roux to thicken the sauce.)
Next add 2 cups of the warm chicken stock to the pan, increase the heat to medium high, continue stirring gently and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for several minutes until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. If the sauce becomes too thick you can add some additional stock.
Add the mushrooms and shredded chicken to the pan and cook for several
minutes to combine the flavors. Add the crème fraiche and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. At this stage you can cover the mixture, let it cool and refrigerate overnight (up to 3 nights), or proceed to the next step. If the chicken mixture was refrigerated, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.
Pre-heat oven to 400º F. If you are using sliced mushrooms to decorate the top of the pie, you can lightly sauté them in some butter or olive oil for several minutes until they just start to develop some color. Remove from the pan and let cool.
On a floured work surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry to fit the top of your oven-proof dish. Lightly beat the egg and milk, or water. Add the chicken mixture to your oven-proof dish. Brush the rim of the dish with the egg wash. Place the pastry over the chicken mixture, trim the edges of the pastry and tuck under the rim of the dish. Press the edges firmly with a fork to seal. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and add any decorations, such as the sautéd mushrooms or several sprigs of sage. Cut a small vent in the top of the pie, and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Then remove from the refrigerator and bake in the pre-heated oven until the top is golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove and serve.
Note: I like to use a roast chicken for this recipe and to spread the preparation over several days. These steps help to enhance the overall flavor of the dish and make it easier to coordinate the timing with your other dishes, especially if you have guests. You can, however, easily make the recipe in one day. Simply use the recipe for Sautéed Chicken Breast with Fresh Sage, Garlic and Lemon or a pound of chicken breasts, cut into chunks, or a pre-cooked chicken from your market. If you are using the chicken breasts, season them with salt and pepper. Add several tablespoons of oil to the pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken in batches and lightly brown the chicken all over, (it will finish cooking in the stock).
White: Sauvignon Blanc, a lightly oaked Chardonnay, or a Riesling from Alsace
Red: Chianti, a Zinfandel, Merlot, or Cabernet Franc, such as The Niner Wine Estates, 2007 Cabernet Franc, Bootjack Ranch, Paso Robles, or what ever you prefer.