Who: Chef Martyn Nail
Instagram: @ChefMNail / @ClaridgesHotel
Chef Nail’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Claridge’s chicken pot pie
Why? With some extra time at home, now has never been a better time to make this menu staple at Claridge’s hotel in London. The chicken pot pie recipe has been an essential part of the hotel’s signature cuisine for decades, and is the ultimate comfort food, combining creamy supreme sauce, mushrooms, smoked bacon, quail eggs, and a potato mash on the side.
You will need:
4 ovenproof dishes or 1 large ovenproof casserole dish
2.14-inch plain pastry cutter
2-inch fluted pastry cutter
Sheets of baking paper and a tray
For the Pie Filling and Assembly
4 1/4 oz pearl onions
Plain flour, for dusting
2 lb 4oz – 2 lb 12 oz) cold puff pastry
2 egg yolks beaten, for egg wash
1 lb 5oz chicken breast, cut into two-inch cubes, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required
4 1/4 oz streaky bacon, cut into lardons
3 1/2 oz small button mushrooms, quartered
1/4 oz flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 quail eggs, hard-boiled (three minutes in boiling water), shelled
For the Supreme sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
14 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
3 1/2 oz shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
3 1/2 oz button mushrooms, sliced
10 fl oz dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
3 thyme sprigs
23 fl oz double chicken stock, plus extra if required
18 fl oz double cream, plus extra if required
1 oz unsalted butter
1 oz plain flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pearl onions in their skins in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water for five to seven minutes. Rinse under cold running water to cool, then peel and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle, about 12 x 24 inches and 1/16-inch thick. Starting at the top of the rectangle and with the long edge facing you, use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut out four oval lids of 5 1/2 x 8 inches. Alternatively, cut out four lids of the shape of your chosen vessels, or one large lid, as needed. You can place one of the dishes directly on to the pastry to use as a guide, making sure you add on an extra 3/4 inches all around for overhang.
Use the 3/4-inch pastry cutter to cut out a steam chimney in the center of each lid. Next, from the bottom of the rectangle, cut away four full-length (24-inch) strips of pastry, each about 3/4 inches wide. These will form the edges along the rim of each dish to support the pastry lid.
Finally, use the larger pastry cutter to cut out four rounds of pastry in what is left of the puff pastry rectangle, then cut our a 3/4-inch hole in the center of each — these are the decorative rings for each chimney. Now, brush a little egg wash around the edge of each of the chimneys and lay one decorative ring on top of each chimney, pressing gently to encourage the seal. Stack the four lids and the long strips on top of each other separated by sheets of baking paper, transfer to a tray, and refrigerate until assembly time. Discard any leftover pastry.
To make the supreme sauce, heat the oil on a medium frying pan or wide saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and lightly cook on all sides for about four minutes, until lightly browned. Add the shallots, along with the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until soft and the onions are translucent, about five minutes. Add the white wine, bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme and reduce the liquid by half, still over a medium heat, about six to eight minutes. Add the stock and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Stir and skim occasionally, removing any sediment. Pass through the sieve into a saucepan, then add the cream and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer to reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt the butter over a medium heat until frothy, then stir in the flour until you have a smooth paste and cook for two to three minutes, stirring continuously over a low heat. Remove from the heat. When the cream sauce has reduced sufficiently, whisk a little of the cream sauce into the flour mixture until smooth, then return this to the supreme sauce, stirring to incorporate. You should have about 1 3/4 pints of sauce. (Don’t worry if you are a little short, just adjust with additional stock or cream as desired.) Season to taste, then cover and set aside.
Now you are ready to work on the remainder of the pie components. In a large frying pan, sear the diced chicken breast in the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat until it colors slightly, then transfer to the saucepan with the supreme sauce, reserving the frying pan for the bacon and mushrooms. Bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the chicken is cooking in the sauce, sauté the bacon lardons in the reserved frying pan until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl and set aside. Now, still in the same pan, sauté the mushrooms until golden brown, adding a splash more vegetable oil to the pan if needed. Set aside in another bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, portion the pieces of chicken equally into the pie dishes. Then divide the pearl onions, mushrooms, bacon, and parsley equally between them. Add one-quarter of the supreme sauce to each dish. The filling should fill each vessel about two-thirds full. Finally, carefully add one quail egg to each. Refrigerate for two hours or longer until completely cool.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Brush the rim of each dish with egg wash. Lay a strip of puff pastry all along the edge of each dish, pressing down gently in the center of the strip to help it adhere to the rim, overlapping the two ends and egg washing them together to form a seal. Next, egg wash the whole strip and carefully drape the puff pastry lids atop each vessel, allowing for a 3/4-inch) overhang all around. Press down gently to form a seal between the rims and the lids. Brush each lid with egg wash.
Place the pies on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until deep golden brown (a few minutes longer if you are making one large pie.) Leave to cool for three minutes before serving with your favorite mashed potato, green beans, and a bottle worthy of your labor.