The chicken pot pie is a North American favourite and often comes with a cornbread crust. Old hat perhaps on the other side of the Atlantic but not so common over here.
I’ve added chopped hazelnuts and rosemary to the topping and mushrooms to the filling for the autumnal flavours.
Although I made this with cooked roast chicken you can cook it from scratch if you like. Just rub seasoned chicken thighs with oil and roast at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 minutes. Cool, skin, de-bone and chop into chunks.
Chicken Pie with Hazelnut and Rosemary Cornbread Crust
I made this in large cocottes but you can just as easily make one bigger pie.
Ingredients for the filling:
300g cooked roast chicken (weighed after de-boning)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
A handful of frozen peas (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp plain flour
About 150 ml chicken stock
For the topping:
100g coarse-ground cornmeal or polenta
50g plain flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tspn salt
3/4 tspn very finely chopped fresh rosemary
30 g chopped toasted hazelnuts
80 ml milk
80 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and gently cook the onion and celery until soft and golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for another five minutes. Stir in the flour and gradually add the stock until you have a thick coating sauce. Stir in the chicken. and peas if using, and heat through. Check the seasoning and set aside. You can make this in advance but re-heat it before filling the ramekins.
For the cornmeal crust, put the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix thoroughly. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a second bowl. Just before you want to eat, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir briefly to mix. Fold in the melted butter.
Place the ramekins on a baking tray and fill three-quarters full with the hot chicken and mushroom mixture. Top with about two tablespoons of the cornbread batter – it will look sloppy but it firms up in the oven. Don’t overdo the topping or the ratios of top to bottom will be skewed and the cornbread will spill over like mine did. Cook 10-12 minutes until the topping is puffed and golden (about 20-25 minutes if you’re making one big pie).