Perhaps my favorite fall flavor combo is sage and butternut squash. Following this blog might result in a bit of overkill with it. Too bad, deal with it!
Here, we have a classic chicken pot pie… that has an amazing punch from black forest bacon… then the warm flavors of butternut squash and sage crisped up in the bacon fat. It’s taking chicken pot pie to a new autumnal level and I hope it stays there, for at least a few months.
Bacon & Butternut Pot Pie
8 oz black forest bacon
3 cups butternut squash, diced
1 cup portobello mushrooms, diced
3 shallots, finely diced
30 sage leaves, julienned
1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cups Parisian carrots
1 ½ cup peas
32 oz chicken broth
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
¼ cup corn starch
2 pie crusts (recipe here or store-bought frozen/thawed)
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked together
coarse sea salt
Cook bacon in a skillet on the stovetop. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Keeping the bacon fat heated in the skillet over medium-low heat, add the squash, mushrooms, sage and shallots. Salt and pepper generously. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is browned and soft.
Add squash mixture to a large pot along with the chicken broth, chicken, carrots, lemon juice, allspice and cayenne. Crumble in the bacon. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Flavors will meld and broth will begin to reduce. Taste while it’s cooking to determine if it needs more salt and pepper.
At this point, dissolve corn starch in a bit of water and slowly stir into the pot. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the filling is cooking, prepare your pie crusts. Roll out and lay the ramekins you’ll be using on top of the crust. Using a sharp knife, cut around the ramekins, leaving about ¼ inch of space all the way around.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Once the mixture has thickened, ladle it into the ramekins. Let set for 10 minutes or so to cool. Then, place each circle on top of the ramekin, pinching it down around the edges. Cut two small slits in the top of each one.
Using the egg wash you’ve prepared, brush the top of each crust then sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt. Place the ramekins in a baking dish or on a baking sheet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.