Few things comfort like chicken pot pie, and we were definitely in need of comfort food around here last week. Monday night’s supper came together rather brilliantly—one of those magical meals where you already have everything in the fridge (crème fraîche, carrots, mushrooms and kale) as well as a lone sheet of butter puff pastry from the freezer. I like to keep some puff pastry on hand—you can make a last-minute onion tart in a pinch, or, in this case a pot pie with remainders from an enormous roast chicken from the previous night’s dinner. My favorite butter puff pastry is Dufour, which you can find at Surfas here in LA, but even Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets will work just fine in a pinch.
But back to this pot pie. I’ve mentioned my love affair with our local CSA—each Wednesday we pick up a bagful of farm fresh produce and then cook our way through it the rest of the week. That’s how some cavolo nero—aka lacinto or dinosaur kale—found its way into the pot pie. But really, you could use just about any veggies. Get creative!
Individual Chicken Pot Pies with Cavolo Nero
I love using sherry with mushrooms, but you can certainly substitute vermouth or white wine or even more chicken broth to suit your tastes.
4 slices bacon
small yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped and peeled carrots
small bunch kale, washed, deveined and chopped
4-5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup crème fraîche (plus 1 additional tablespoon for brushing on pastry)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
3 cups chopped roast chicken (if you don’t have leftovers on hand, buy a pre-roasted chicken from the supermarket and voila!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon. Add onion to drippings in skillet; sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add onion, carrot, kale and mushrooms, cook for several minutes.
Add broth and sherry; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until veggies are almost tender and some liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup crème fraîche, chicken, thyme and bacon. Bring to simmer. Salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among four large ramekins.
Unfold puff pastry onto work surface; roll out to 12-inch square. Cut into 4 squares. Top filling in dishes with pastry; fold edges down onto rims of dish. Brush top of crusts with 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. Cut small X in center of crusts; pierce all over with fork.
Bake in a 450-degree oven until crusts are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 22 minutes.