Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Until recently, dill was an underappreciated herb in our garden. We would mostly grow it for its delicate structure and because it was a favorite of the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. It wasn’t until we had dill in a cream sauce with chicken, accented by a touch of mustard, that we started making sure we grew enough for the caterpillars and ourselves. Take that creamed dill chicken and encase it in puff pastry for a potpie, and it becomes perfect comfort food. Over the winter, grow some dill in your windowsill, or if you are lucky enough to live in a temperate area like Southern California, make sure to grow dill in the cool months. But be forewarned: You may find yourself addicted.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (910g) boneless, skinless chicken (thighs or breasts)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113g) unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 medium shallots, sliced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • ½ pound (225g) carrots, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 2 cups (330g) fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
  • ½ cup (120ml) dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • ¼ cup (30g) flour
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream, plus more for brushing the pastry
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • ¼ cup (5g) minced dill
  • 1 pound (455g) Puff Pastry Dough

Method

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. If the chicken pieces are thick, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and lightly pound them to ½ inch (12mm) thick. Season the pieces with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium–high heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool.
  4. To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, then add the shallots, garlic, carrots, and corn and cook over medium heat until the shallots begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and brandy and simmer until the pan is almost dry, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. When it is melted, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the cream and stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Cut the browned chicken into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces and add them to the cream sauce. Add the mustard and dill, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Fill a 2-quart (2-L) baking dish with the dill-chicken mixture. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll the puff pastry out to a sheet large enough to cover the top of the baking dish and filling. Place the puff pastry over the filling, then cut a small slit in the top to allow the steam to vent. Brush the pastry with heavy cream.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is deep golden. Serve hot.

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