For this deconstructed, whimsical take on a potpie, chef Grant Achatz tops a creamy chicken stew with pieces of crust and poached eggs. The crust is a bit like a crisp bread stuffing.
Slideshow: Slow Cooker Recipes
5 thyme sprigs
3 sage sprigs
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 cups half-and-half
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 1 cob)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
4 ounces potato chips (7 cups), broken into pieces
33 Ritz crackers, broken into pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 large eggs, beaten
Poached eggs, chopped thyme and parsley, and grated lemon zest, for serving
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Chicken Stew
Using kitchen twine, tie the thyme and sage sprigs into a bundle. Turn a 6- to 6 1/2-quart slow cooker to low and set the timer for 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Step 2 Make the Chicken Stew
Add the butter and cover until the butter melts. Stir in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and a paste forms. Stir in the chicken stock and half-and-half, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Add the herbs, then add the next 9 ingredients, up to and including the salt. Cover and cook for 4 hours, stirring after 2 hours.
Step 3 Make the Chicken Stew
Stir in the chicken, peas and corn. Cover and cook until the chicken is white throughout, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Discard the herb bundle. Season the stew with pepper.
Step 4 Meanwhile, Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly oil a baking sheet. In a food processor, pulse the bread cubes until coarse crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the potato chips and Ritz crackers to the processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form; add to the bowl. Stir in the 1/4 cup of oil and all of the remaining ingredients except the poached eggs and garnishes. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and pat it out to an even 1/4-inch layer with your fingertips. Bake until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Break into 3-by-3-inch pieces.
Step 5 Meanwhile, Make the Crust
Serve the chicken stew in bowls, each topped with a poached egg and a piece of crust. Garnish with thyme, parsley and lemon zest.
The crust can be stored in an airtight container for 1 day. Rewarm in a 350° oven until crisp.
Ripe, apple-inflected Chardonnay.
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