My Mom made this for what is certain to be her annual Christmas ladies’ lunch a couple weeks ago; I loved its similarity to tourtière, the classic version of which I’m not particularly enamoured with, but I also love that it comes from the Fairmont le Château Frontenac in
Montréal Quebec City. They make it with skinless, boneless chicken thighs and lidded with a flakey lard pastry crust, but it turned out to be the perfect use of leftover turkey and the vats of stock I’ve been freezing over the past couple days. (I throw the carcass back in the oven in its roasting pan and cook it again until it’s deep brown all over for a richer, darker stock.) I also typically wind up with extra pastry and puff pastry in my freezer after the holidays; unrolling a piece of puff overtop couldn’t be easier, or more impressive-looking, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Wouldn’t this make a lovely New Year’s Eve or Day dish? I thought so too. I may make another to freeze (without its pastry top – without the eggs it’s a perfect candidate for freezing) to thaw, cover and bake for an instant meal a month or so down the road, when snow and cold have lost their lustre and we need something quick and warming for dinner in the dark.
Chicken, Sausage & Mushroom Pot Pie
Adapted from the December 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, from the Fairmont le Château Frontenac in Quebec City. Double to feed a larger crowd.
2 Tbsp. each canola or olive oil and butter, plus a little extra
12 oz. crimini (baby bella) or button mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion or 5 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
1 lb. Italian sausages
2 cups shredded leftover turkey or 1-2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup Madeira or white wine
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and thickly sliced (optional)
1/2 pkg. frozen puff pastry dough, thawed, or pastry for a single-crust pie
To make the filling, heat the oil and butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the mushrooms, onions and thyme or rosemary; sauté until mushrooms brown, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage, squeezed out of their casings, and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with spoon. Add turkey or chicken, season with salt and pepper and if it’s uncooked, sauté until chicken is opaque, about 5 minutes. Add Madeira or wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, for about 2 minutes.
Mix the flour with about a tablespoon of butter or oil and add it to the pan along with the broth; bring to a boil. (Alternatively: shake the flour over the meat, toss it around to coat, then pour in the broth.) Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish and top with egg slices, if you like. (The pie can be made ahead to this point; cover and chill overnight and when it’s time to bake, cover with pastry first.)
When you’re ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the puff pastry or regular pastry dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about an inch bigger around than your baking dish; drape over the filling. You could leave it over the edge of the baking dish, or crimp it. Cut a few slits in the top and if you like, brush with some lightly beaten egg. Bake pie for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.