While the chicken is cooking, I take advantage of this downtime and start getting my filling for the potpie prepped and cooked. Cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan with olive oil and a teaspoon of butter and start rendering some bacon cut into lardons. After the bacon has rendered and is crispy, remove it so that you can sauté your vegetables in progression. I always start with my aromatics—onions, carrots, celery and then garlic. From there, you may add in any vegetables that you like. Next, start on your cream-based filling. Traditionally, this process begins with a roux to thicken some chicken stock and/or milk. My approach toward this is to simply pour a quart of heavy cream into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. The cream will continue to raise twice its size amidst the boil and then collapse; it should do this 2 times and then be perfectly reduced. Turn off the burner and set aside to rest. From there, check on those vegetables of yours and make sure that they are browning nicely. Of course, when browning anything there is going to be a brown film in the bottom of the pan—take this time to deglaze the pan with some sherry. Sprinkle with a little more fresh herbs and then add the cream reduction to the pan of vegetables. When the smells in your house begin to make your neighbors jealous, you can give yourself a pat on the back and then take a bite in front of them. After the chicken has become all browned and cooked through, set aside to rest. Next, peel up the skin, cube up the chicken off the bone and toss into the vegetable cream sauce.
Finally, take some store-bought puff pastry and roll out to fit your ovenproof baking dish. Rub the perimeter of the baking dish with a beaten egg and then fit your puff pastry cap to the dish. Brush the outside of the pastry with the rest of the beaten egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until puffed and golden. Not only will this dish make you want to hibernate in the house until it’s gone; it will warm the soul and give you an immense sense of accomplishment. Hopefully you all enjoy this dish as much as I do.