Serves 4 to 6
This hearty Pennsylvania Dutch dish is just the thing for a cold evenings supper. Hearty yet delicate, it is sure to please any family.
½ recipe Perfect Pastry, or favorite recipe, chilled
1 large roasting chicken cut into pieces
1 large onion, quartered
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 sprig each, fresh rosemary, thyme and savory
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon saffron, if available
3 to 4 quarts of water (enough to completely cover the chicken)
2 cups of fresh button mushrooms, stems trimmed off
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste
Make your pastry, divide in half and pat into two disks about 1 inch thick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Put the chicken in a large heavy pot with the next 6 ingredients. Cover completely with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and continue to cook until the meat is tender enough to come off the bone easily. Allow to cool a bit, then pour the contents of the pot into a large colander placed over a large bowl or pot and drain. Remove all the meat from the bones. Put the skin and bones and reserved cooking liquid back into the cooking pot and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
In the meantime, cut the stems from the mushrooms and put them in the pot to simmer with the bones and skin, thus forming a flavorful stock. Reserve the caps. Cut the chicken meat into bite size pieces and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Remove one of the disks of pastry from the refrigerator and working on a lightly flowered surface, roll into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Using a crinkle-cut pastry wheel cut the pastry into approximately 2 inch squares. Set them on a baking sheet lined with a piece of bakers’ parchment, brush with a bit of milk or cream, sprinkle lightly with salt and caraway seeds and bake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Continue with the remaining pastry dough.
Strain the simmering stock again and put 4 cups of it into a heavy pot. Add the mushroom caps and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes (save any remaining stock for use at another time).
Cream the flour and butter together until a smooth paste is formed and add this gradually to the simmering stock, whisking constantly until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the cream in a thin stream and bring to a boil, still whisking. Continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer. Add the parsley and reserved chicken meat to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook only until the chicken is hot thorough. Remove to a serving dish and surround with the baked pastry squares. Put any other extra pastry squares in a basket to serve along side.