French-Style Chicken Pot Pie


Yields: 4 servings
  • 1 whole chicken (3 pounds) cut into 8 pieces, skin on
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup Madeira wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 pearl onions, peeled
  • 15 baby carrots, peeled (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 sheets puff pastry


This recipe uses a convenience product – puff pastry – which makes a wonderful pastry topping for the chicken pot pie. Another unique feature is the Madeira wine sauce which binds all the ingredients together beautifully and is a welcome change from the typical heavy cream sauces you so often find in pot pies.

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a 3-quart stove-top casserole pan or sauté pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until almost crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Remove half of the bacon fat from the pan and add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Sear the chicken over medium‐high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown in color.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the diced onion, diced carrot, thyme and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add Madeira wine and bring to a boil.
Add bacon, chicken stock, and chicken pieces. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 45 minutes at a low simmer.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with the sugar. Add the pearl onions and baby carrots, stir to coat, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Add ¼ cup water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and let cook for 15 minutes at a low simmer, or until vegetables are tender. Remove and set aside.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet and add the shitake mushrooms. Sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and add ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
When the chicken has finished cooking, remove the chicken pieces and place in a 2.5 quart pie dish or low, round casserole. Top the chicken with the mushroom, onions and baby carrots, spreading them evenly around the chicken.
Pour the remaining chicken cooking mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. (The remaining solids are not used in the dish). Simmer the liquid over medium heat for about 5 minutes, to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Pour the sauce over the pot pie.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet so it is 1 inch larger than the pot pie dish.
Beat the egg yolks with 2 teaspoons of water to make an egg wash.
Brush the top of the puff pastry sheet with the egg wash. Then brush the egg wash on the brim of the chicken dish. Place a piece of puff pastry, egg wash side up, on top of the potpie and press down along the brim of the pan to seal the edges. To create a design, take a sharp knife and cut diagonal lines, just barely cutting through the dough.
Place each pot pie on a baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until puff pastry is a deep golden brown.

Note: Real baby carrots look like real carrots, only much smaller. Do not confuse them with the packaged snack size carrots found in stores everywhere as these are just large carrots which have been cut down.