Recipe adapted from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Ok, so I saw this recipe yesterday in an email from Tasting Table and I was all, WHAT???
It’s so brilliant. I have cooked parts of chicken in pastry but never a WHOLE chicken. I love chicken potpie more than it’s probably healthy to love chicken potpie. My favorite part is the crust. The way it soaks up the chicken juice and part of it is gooey and part of it is crispy and flaky…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
But there is never enough crust for me. Nothing burns my biscuits like a pot pie with no crust on the bottom – what a rip off! Well, this dish does not have that problem. There is so much crust – crispy, golden on top and soaking up the flavorful, rich juices on the bottom – I was in potpie heaven.
This was a bit more work than I usually put into a weeknight dinner and we ended up eating at almost 10 pm but my husband assured me it was worth the wait. He declared the dish a success!
The crust traps the moisture and flavors in so the meat comes out super tender and juicy.
I made some changes to the Tasting Table recipe, of course. I didn’t have 6-8 hours to let the chicken sit in the fridge soaking up salt. I’m sure it would have been great if I had but I didn’t so I went with a quick brine and it seemed to be adequate.
Also, as always, I used salted butter because that’s what I had. I discovered I was out of eggs so I just pinched the dough to seal it and it seemed to be fine. You could certainly use an egg wash on this and it would be lovely. I just didn’t have any and it was fine.
This crust is basically pie dough but it has a whole pound of butter. No wonder it’s so delicious! The fresh herbs were a really nice touch too.
I will have to use some of TT’s images because I just didn’t really get any good photos of the finished product. It wasn’t the most beautiful plate of food I’ve ever produced but you guys, trust me, you have to try this!
- One 3- to 4-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry (brined for 1-3 hours in solution of salt, sugar, vinegar, water and black pepper corns)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 head garlic, minced
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- a few sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Brine the chicken in a solution of salt, sugar, vinegar and water and allow to soak up the flavors for as long as you have. I only had about an hour but 3-6 hours would be better
Make the dough: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and the remaining salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than a small pea. Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl, add the water and continue to mix until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a 1-inch-thick circle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Pat the chicken dry and rub the inside with salt. Stuff with the cavity with garlic, herbs butter. I threw a few cracked peppercorns in there too. Squish some butter and garlic under the skin. Set the chicken on a cutting board and, using kitchen twine, tie the bases of the drumsticks together, slightly crossing one drumstick over the other. Tuck the wings behind the back and set the chicken aside.
Roll out the dough to a diameter of 8 inches, sprinkle evenly with the sage and thyme and then fold into thirds (like a letter). Roll the dough into a 14-inch square about ¼-inch thick. Cut the corners out of the dough (roughly a 3-inch square out of each corner) so that it resembles a cross (I used the scraps to reinforce the seams ). Place the chicken, breast side down, in the center of the cross. One at a time, fold the dough flaps over the chicken, pinching the edges to seal, to enclose the chicken in the dough. Transfer the chicken, breast side up, to a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Using your hands, mold the dough to the form of the chicken. ( I roasted the bird breast side down because I forgot to turn it over but it was great because it made the breast meat extra juicy! I think this was a contributing factor to the “not very pretty” issue.)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast the chicken, rotating occasionally, until the dough is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh joint (through the dough) registers 175°, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. ( mine took 90 minutes so check it when it gets about that far along.
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
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