For the poached chicken*:
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots and leafy tops, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, coarsely chopped
1 bulb garlic, halved horizontally
2 bay leaves
Herb bundle of parsley, sage, thyme
1 lemon, sliced
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 3- to 4-pound chicken
For the Pot Pies:
4 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large ribs celery, chopped
2 Honeycrisp or Gala apples, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
A little freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup Calvados or apple brandy
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups poaching liquid (if poaching chicken) or store-bought chicken stock*
1/2 cup cream
DuFour or other prepared pastry dough, defrosted 2 hours in refrigerator
1 egg beaten with a splash of water
If you’re running short on time, use meat pulled from a store-bought rotisserie chicken and store-bought stock.
Place ingredients for poaching chicken in a pot and add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 hour, turning occasionally. Cool chicken in stock then remove chicken to platter. Discard skin and bones, and pull meat into bite-size pieces.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add leeks, onions, celery and apples, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir 7-8 minutes until softened. Stir in flour, cook a minute or 2 then stir in Calvados and wine. Let reduce 1 minute then add poaching liquid or stock and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low, add cream and thicken. Add chicken and keep warm.
Roll out puff pastry a bit on a floured surface and cut out circles the size of the bowls you wish to serve from. Lightly brush the pastry with egg wash and bake on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until puffed and golden.
Serve the chicken filling in bowls topped with the baked puffed pastry rounds.