- 8 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
- 1 pound assorted mushrooms, such as cremini and stemmed shiitakes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 7 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- Two 3 1/2-pound chickens
- One 5-pound duck
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound all-butter puff pastry dough, chilled
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large roasting pan, combine the carrots, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and olive oil and toss well. Spread the vegetables in an even layer and add 4 cups of the chicken stock. Set the pan over 2 burners and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
- Meanwhile, season the chickens and duck inside and out with salt and pepper. Set the chickens, breast side up, on the vegetables. Set the duck on a rack in another roasting pan. Roast for about 2 hours, or until the birds are just cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Transfer the chickens and duck to a carving board and let cool slightly.
- Discard the skin from the chickens and duck, remove the meat and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Strain the chicken pan juices, reserving the vegetables. Skim the fat from the juices.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over moderate heat until bubbling, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the pan juices, then whisk in the remaining pan juices and 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 12 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepan and add the reserved vegetables and the chicken and duck meat.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the puff pastry 1/8 inch thick. Using a 7-inch bowl, cut out 4 rounds. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Spoon the stew into eight 2- to 3-cup ovenproof bowls, about 6 inches wide. Set a puff pastry round on each bowl and press the pastry around the rim to seal. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and arrange the bowls on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and deeply browned. Serve at once.
The potpie recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
The duck and the mushrooms call for a wine of equal finessearomatic, with medium body and a great deal of flavor, like a Pinot Noir.