This pot pie is always a crowd pleaser. This dish is a slightly dressed-up version of a very comforting, traditional chicken pot pie. This recipe has a few steps because you will need to brown the chicken and sausage separately to build flavor, so don’t wait until the last minute to start. You can also make the filling and the crust a day or two in advance. This recipe makes two 9-inch pies, but if you have a larger pie dish, you can also make one extra-large pie which makes for a nice presentation. Serve on a cold night with a glass of red wine.
Chicken and Sausage Pot Pie with Fennel and Chestnuts, makes two 9-inch pies
5 tbsp. butter, softened and divided
3 tbsp. flour
1.5 lbs mild Italian sausage
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 1/2 cups chopped fennel
3 cups chopped red onion
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. fennel seeds
3/4 cup dry vermouth
10 oz steamed chestnuts, chopped
2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. water
Pie Crusts (recipe below)
Steps for the Filling
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour. Mix well, and set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, stirring to break up the meat. Transfer the sausage to a paper-towel lined plate. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the pieces of chicken, but do not crowd the pan (you may have to do this in batches). Cook the chicken on one side for a few minutes, and then flip. Remove when golden brown and repeat with remaining chicken, adding more butter if neccessary. Optional: if you find that your pan is getting too brown, you can add some of the chopped vegetables and a bit of the vermouth to deglaze. Reserve the vegetables, then continue browning the meat. Also, more deglazing, more flavor.
Add olive oil into the same Dutch oven, along with onions, fennel, and thyme. Stir over medium-high heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds, and stir a few more minutes. Add vermouth, and stir vigorously to deglaze. Add chestnuts, and when the vermouth has just about evaporated, add chicken broth.
Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Return the sausage and chicken to the pot, and simmer. Add the butter-flour mixture, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes, until thickened. If the filling is too watery, you can add more flour or simmer for a little longer. If it is too thick, you can add more chicken broth or water. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning, and reserve.
Pie Crust Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
5 tbsp. cold water
Pie Crust Steps
In an electric mixer fitted with a dough paddle, mix the flour and salt. Add the butter, and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water slowly until the dough begins to clump together. You may need to add more water.
Break the dough into 2 pieces and shape each into a 1″ thick discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and over a floured work surface, roll out to the size of your pie dish. The dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick. Ladle the filling into the pie dish, and top with the dough. The dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick. Score a couple of lines on the top so the steam can evaporate, and brush the top with the egg wash (1 yolk + 1 tbsp. water).
Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown on the top. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.