Schmaltz Pie Crust
Servings: 1 (nine-inch) pie crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons cold schmaltz
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 chicken thighs
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
To Make the Crust:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the cold schmaltz and working quickly, and using your hands, break the fat into bits until they're evenly distributed and resemble the size of small peas.
Add the water and mix. The dough might seem a bit dry and shaggy but keep kneading it until it comes together. If needed add a tablespoon more of water. Flour your counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times more until it comes together. Form into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
To Make the Filling:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Sprinkle the chicken with a few pinches of salt and pepper. In a medium pot pot, add the two tablespoons of smaltz or butter. When melted and warm, add the shallots, carrot and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and flour; give it a mix and cook for about a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese.
To Assemble the Pot Pies:
Remove the dough from the fridge. Liberally flour your work surface and rolling pin. We’re going to start by making the tops. Begin to roll the dough, being sure to rotate it every so often, to avoid sticking. Place your small baking dish face down on top of the dough, so you can get an idea of how big the circumference of the top should be. Using a paring knife, cut out two circles, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Press the dough onto the bottoms of cocottes and up the sides. If you like, you can use the extra dough to make a lattice or cut out little leaves—the possibilities are endless for the tops. Divide the filling amongst the baking dishes and place the dough tops on. Tuck the edges under and then crimp them all the way around. Brush the dough with egg wash and transfer to the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes (they’ll be super hot!). Eat immediately.
If you don't have schmaltz, no worries, you can use duck fat, which they sell at most grocery stores in the deli section.
If you can't find duck fat, no worries, you can totally just replace the schmaltz with cold, diced butter!
To render your own schmaltz, here's how to do it:
1. Take chicken fat (you can get some from your butcher) and place it in a baking dish. Transfer to a 350 degrees F oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the fat renders out and the leftover fat turns crispy. Remove the crispy bits and run the liquid fat through a sieve and into an airtight container. Transfer to the fridge until you're ready to use.