Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Whole Chicken Pie – Finally, a Great Pie with Bones

There’s a restaurant up the street that serves a whole chicken wrapped in brioche, and ever since I saw it, I’ve wanted to do that video. I’ve never actually had it, since it’s $100, and you have to order it a day in advance. I love chicken, but I think I’ll save my hundred dollar bills for more sensible things, like lighting Cuban cigars.

Anyway, I was planning on doing a bread-wrapped bird, when I saw a photo for what looked like a pie crust wrapped chicken. Suddenly, I remembered doing something similar in culinary school, except they made us call the pie dough, “pate brisee,” for some reason, but same idea. That’s when plans changed, and the brioche went bye bye.

When bread’s used, you usually have to peel the soft, flabby skin off before enjoying the meat, but that’s not as big an issue here. Pie crust doesn’t insulate nearly as well, and so the skin gets cooked more thoroughly. This was very noticeable on the breasts, where the skin and crust fused together into some sort of marvelous hybrid. The thicker skin around the thighs didn’t render out quite as well, but even if you do pull off the skin, the meat is moist, tender, and very flavorful.

If you use a 3 1/2 pound chicken for this, then the roasting/resting time should work out, but if your bird is larger, you’ll have to add more time, and should probably use a thermometer to check your work. By the way, this is a technique video, and everything from the stuffing, to the pan sauce ingredients should be adapted to your tastes, but no matter what you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

*This was inspired by the chicken photo from this article about Chef Barbara Lynch.
Ingredients for One Whole Chicken Pie:
1 whole chicken, between 3 1/4 and 3 1/2 pounds
kosher salt as needed
1 recipe buttercrust pastry dough (this was just barely enough)
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoon of water

For the veggie stuffing:
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 small carrot, small dice
1/2 rib celery, small dice
1 to 2 tablespoons minced rosemary or other fresh herb
kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil

For the sauce (this is for 4 portions, I only made 2):
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup veggies from inside chicken (pull out while chicken rests, but replace the crust)
salt to taste
2/3 cup white or rose wine
1/3 cup pan drippings and/or splash of stock
4 tablespoons cold butter cut in cubes
Note: This is a rich butter sauce, but a gravy, so you only get a few tablespoons


Cryofdragon said...

I love this idea. Do you think you could make this ahead and freeze it? And if so would something need to change? Thanks a ton!

Unknown said...

Chef John me n mi girl luv ur show we always watch👍👍 could make a Peking duck vid we'd love to know how to cook that thx chef john keep em coming

Minecrafter said...

Hello John!

Today I tried to reach your website with the address foodwishes.com via the Firefox web browser. The following error message was displayed:

"The owner of www.foodwishes.blogspot.com did not properly configure the site Firefox has not affiliated with this site to protect your information from theft.

This site uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to communicate that Firefox should only communicate with it through secure connections. Therefore, it is not possible to create an exception for this certificate."

However, this error message did not appear when going through YouTube. Mozilla advised me to tell you. Whether you can do something with it, I do not know.

Greetings from Marcus from Germany.

BK Nicholas said...

Hey Chef John, what ever happened to the duck and parsnip pot pie you teased us with in the butter crust pastry dough video recipe?
That looked and sounded CRAZY good!

Unknown said...

Can this be done with a store-bought, in-the-box, pie crust? :)

Unknown said...

This looks absolutey fabulous, looksa lot like Beef Bourgignon.

Unknown said...

Looks awesome. Going to make this for tonight's dinner!

Unknown said...

can I do this with a duck?

Unknown said...

This blew me away! It's so "Chef John" with your curiosity about both regional and innovative cuisine, your willingness to experiment, and your (very unusual) willingness to chronicle potential fails. I love to try new ideas and recipes. Not all are a success - my last real experiment ended up in the trash; but each has taught me something and some have gifted me with "keepers". Thanks again for being you.

Suzanne said...

Hi Minecrafter,

just remove the www from the address and you should be fine. The proper URL is https://foodwishes.blogspot.com

Jomichele said...

As someone who can't abide by flabby chicken skin, I'm wondering how it might work to remove the skin before wrapping the bird in pastry. Beautiful dish! Thanks for the inspiration.

A True Amateur said...

I tried this recipe out today, though I substituted red wine for the rose (my family only ever drinks Old Vine Zin, so by the law of Waste Not Want Not, it was a perfect choice). While I learned my pastry rolling skills need work--I would NOT recommend it to pastry novices--and that pastry is not terribly compatible with a Florida kitchen in summer, it turned out really tasty. I will be trying this recipe again in November to see if the pastry is easier to manage when the ambient temperature is under 80 F.

Mamu42 said...

Hello, Chef! I love your recipes, they have become a "go to" source for me, and every singe one has turned out stunning. I love this whole chicken pie recipe, and it looks easier than I expected considering that $100 price tag. I wonder if this technique could be used on a turkey for a showstopper Thanksgiving centerpiece?

Unknown said...

Does the dark meat cook to temp? I know the breast meat always cooks more quickly, but how about the legs/thighs?

Would you suggest a thermometer poke in the dark meat (on the underside, so as to not spoil the impeccable crust)?

Unknown said...

Could you please finish instructions ie: temperature, and time for cooking the chicken in pie crust?

Unknown said...

I made this dish for my family and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

Living Better said...

For me, this recipe was a nightmare. This is what I did. I would appreciate knowing where I went wrong.

Couldn’t find a fryer, so I bought the smallest roaster I could, 4.6 lbs. Since one recipe of the buttercrust dough was barely enough for a 3.5 lb bird, I made 1 1/2 recipes. I made the dough in the morning and refrigerated it for about 8 hours.

I took the bird out of the frig, patted it dry with paper towels, cut off the wing tips, salted the cavity and the outside of the bird everywhere. Then I filled the cavity with the aromatics and tied the legs together. I set the bird aside while I rolled out the dough.

First problem, the dough was rock hard and kept splitting as I rolled it out.

Second problem, the bird would not stop sweating. Though I patted it dry again, the entire time I was trying to wrap it in the pastry dough, it just kept getting wetter. The dough would not stick and gapped away from the bird.

I wrapped it in parchment and refrigerated it for 50 minutes. A bit better, but still gapping. Unwrapped it. Brushed it with lots of egg wash, stuck in a thermometer in a thigh, put it in the oven at 375 instead of 400 because of the size of the bird.

Cooked until thigh was 165 F.

It looked good, but the crust on the bottom stuck to the aluminum foil in one mass.

I am thinking that salting the outside of the bird was my first mistake. I think I probably should have added more water to the dough—10 Tbs instead of 9. Also the “stuffing” probably should have been cooked beforehand.

Comments please.

Unknown said...

Hi Chef,
I just wanted to thank you for this fantastic recipe. It turned out to be amazingly simple and soooooo deliciously tasty and juicy. I'm planning to prepare it for our New Year's celebration in our Beach Resort in the Philippines, as this is a dish, most people have never seen before and it perfectly matches our theme "The Mad House Costume Show". I'm gathering delectable recipes and ideas that are unusual or unknown for my buffet, and your chicken pie is by far the most attractive and surprisingly brilliant one.
Again, thank you so much for sharing it!
Cathy Kalitta, Takatuka Lodge - Beach and Dive Resort, Sipalay

Unknown said...

I tried this recipe twice and loved it both times. Wonderful! It was just as Chef John, our beloved hero, said it was. The second time, I didn't even try to cover the bottom of the chicken as the first time it was a mess and contributed nothing to the outcome. The second time, I used the pie dough to cover the bird like a tablecloth (I used extra dough to create a leaf and berry design on top) and trimmed the pastry at the bottom, tucked it under, egg-washed it, salted it, then set in on my mirepoix: it tasted and even looked no different from the first time. (The fully cooked chicken looked very French and very appetizing.) I also don't use the aromatic vegetables in the cavity: too much work and cutting the pastry ruins the presentation. I just wish I had a food processor; I tried to use a blender but they're not strong enough although I was successful enough to taste a difference from using a pastry cutter. The next time, I want to add mushrooms to the mirepoix.

Jo said...

I made this for my boyfriend on our first Valentine's Day together in 2015. I've made him everything from scallops to A5 wagyu steaks. He still cites this as the best dish I've ever made him so I'll be making it again for our 5th Valentine's day together.

This is the first food blog I ever started following and it will always be my favorite. I'm a line cook today but I've been following your recipes since I first discovered my love of cooking in 2009. Thanks Chef John!