Chicken pot pie in the U.S. is much like chicken fricassee in Europe. I grew up eating fricassee with rice, peas, Worcestershire sauce and cheese… delightful. Although arguably a chicken pot pie should be reserved for colder days, it was just too long for me to wait, and I decided that a wonderful chicken fricassee wrapped in a freshly prepared crepe with awesome Gruyere cheese, was something that fellow pot pie lovers would not be able to resist. Turns out I was right!!! To date, this is our best selling crepe on the menu!
Here at the Blue Door we only use organic, free range chicken – for breakfast or lunch. For dinner, we go one step further and serve what is called, Green Circle chicken which is really the finest chicken I have had here in the states. It is raised on an old fashioned diet, namely, kitchen scraps! Although Green Circle chicken has its own unique flavor, you may not always taste the difference between organic and conventionally raised birds. We believe however, that the thought of responsibly raised poultry ultimately makes a better eating experience and for this reason, if you dine with us here at The Blue Door, you can be sure that you are always being served fresh Green Circle or organic chicken.
As I was saying, we begin with a responsibly raised organic, fresh chicken. The chicken is washed clean and than submerged in a pot with cold water and some vegetables (celery root, carrots, leeks & onions). A couple sprigs of thyme, tarragon and some cloves of garlic are added for flavor. As for spices, we put in peppercorns, bay leaves, mustard seeds, all spice and Kosher salt. Now, we let the chicken simmer until it is nice and tender and then carefully remove it from the hot liquid – to let it cool. Meanwhile, we strain the stock through a cheese cloth and then reduce it by about half – again on a low heat simmer. “Zum kochen braucht man Zeit” (To cook, one needs time)! To our reduced stock we add butter and cream for a smooth consistency and then we make a roux (butter and flour mixture) to thicken the sauce to our liking. Once we are satisfied, we finish the sauce with a bit of freshly ground nutmeg – to achieve a very distinct flavor.
The chicken, once cooled, can be taken apart into bite sized chunks and added to the sauce. Once added, the chicken and sauce are brought to a simmer one last time. We check seasoning yet again and add pre-blanched organic peas and carrots at the very end.
Now to craft the actual crepe! We make each crepe to order and before removing from the crepe iron, we melt on some authentic Swiss Gruyere cheese. We then place a couple tablespoons of hot fricassee in the center, roll the crepe like a burrito, set the finished product on a plate and add some additional fricassee right over the top. To garnish we use petite watercress.
Once the base fricassee is complete, there are a variety of applications. You could:
- Make an actual pot pie with dough.
- Fill a ramekin, sprinkle some cheese on top and bake it. (great appetizer)
- If you like biscuits and gravy, you will love biscuits and fricassee.
- Toast some rye bread, cover with fricassee and eat it like an open faced sandwich.
As with everything that we attempt to do, this dish highlights simple and quality ingredients and an elegant and clean presentation. We would love to hear your thoughts about pot pie as well as your favorite recipes. We truly hope you enjoy our chicken pot pie creation this week!