Whole Chicken Pie – Finally, a Great Pie with Bones

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There’s a restaurant up the street that serves a whole chicken wrapped in brioche, and ever since I saw it, I’ve wanted to do that video. I’ve never actually had it, since it’s $100, and you have to order it a day in advance. I love chicken, but I think I’ll save my hundred dollar bills for more sensible things, like lighting Cuban cigars.

Anyway, I was planning on doing a bread-wrapped bird, when I saw a photo for what looked like a pie crust wrapped chicken. Suddenly, I remembered doing something similar in culinary school, except they made us call the pie dough, “pate brisee,” for some reason, but same idea. That’s when plans changed, and the brioche went bye bye.

When bread’s used, you usually have to peel the soft, flabby skin off before enjoying the meat, but that’s not as big an issue here. Pie crust doesn’t insulate nearly as well, and so the skin gets cooked more thoroughly. This was very noticeable on the breasts, where the skin and crust fused together into some sort of marvelous hybrid. The thicker skin around the thighs didn’t render out quite as well, but even if you do pull off the skin, the meat is moist, tender, and very flavorful.

If you use a 3 1/2 pound chicken for this, then the roasting/resting time should work out, but if your bird is larger, you’ll have to add more time, and should probably use a thermometer to check your work. By the way, this is a technique video, and everything from the stuffing, to the pan sauce ingredients should be adapted to your tastes, but no matter what you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


*This was inspired by the chicken photo from this article about Chef Barbara Lynch.
Ingredients for One Whole Chicken Pie:
1 whole chicken, between 3 1/4 and 3 1/2 pounds
kosher salt as needed
1 recipe buttercrust pastry dough (this was just barely enough)
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoon of water

For the veggie stuffing:
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 small carrot, small dice
1/2 rib celery, small dice
1 to 2 tablespoons minced rosemary or other fresh herb
kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil

For the sauce (this is for 4 portions, I only made 2):
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup veggies from inside chicken (pull out while chicken rests, but replace the crust)
salt to taste
2/3 cup white or rose wine
1/3 cup pan drippings and/or splash of stock
4 tablespoons cold butter cut in cubes
Note: This is a rich butter sauce, but a gravy, so you only get a few tablespoons


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