Chicken "Potpie" with Stuffing Crust

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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 

Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
6

Ingredients

Chicken Stew

  • 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)

  • Pepper

Crust

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing

  • 11 ounces light multigrain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)

  • 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

Directions

Make the Chicken Stew

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Meanwhile, Make the Crust

  1. 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.

  2. Serve the chicken stew in bowls, each topped with a poached egg and a piece of crust. Garnish with thyme, parsley and lemon zest.

Make Ahead

The crust can be stored in an airtight container for 1 day. Rewarm in a 350° oven until crisp.

Suggested Pairing

Ripe, apple-inflected Chardonnay.

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