Months ago Andrew said he wanted to try Chicken Pot Pie. The thought of all the boiling and sautéing over a hot stove, turning on the oven to bake the pie and eating something that warm in the heat of summer was not appealing. It has finally cooled off so I put it on the menu.
Many years ago I used to make a pot pie that Paul loved. In our many many moves the recipe was lost. I asked around and my friend Erin gave me her recipe. This "recipe" (she cooks like me; a dash here, substitute this for that, etc etc) seemed the closest to what I remember making back when we were newly married.
I knew Emma would be turned off by all the veggies so I recruited her help and let her taste things along the way. By the time we were done she was totally excited to eat the meal.
Here is the recipe as Erin wrote it.
Ingredients list for ONE PIE is:
2 chicken breasts
about 3/4 Cup chopped carrot
1 onion, chopped
1/2 Cup frozen peas (or more)
1/2 Cup frozen corn (or more)
2 TBS. butter
1/4 Cup flour
salt/pepper to taste (don't scrimp on the salt)
1/4 tsp. thyme (more to taste, i add a lot more)
1 Cup chicken stock/liquid
1 Cup whole milk
one pie crust
here it goes:
take two chicken breasts and salt and pepper them (bone-in, no bone, whatever).
brown them on both sides in a dutch oven with some olive oil (i do it in my le creuset, and i swear it was worth the price just for this recipe).
pour in 1/2 to 1 Cup of liquid--you can use all chicken stock, part white wine(maybe 1/4 cup), or water only if you have no other option. i do the chicken stock/white wine combo. delish. cover and simmer until cooked through. you can add a bay leaf and some peppercorns if you like. remove the whole spices after the simmer.
while chicken is cooking, dice some carrots (about 3/4 Cup), and one onion. Dice quite small. i use my vidalia onion chopper, b/c i like the dice to be small and uniform. i really do think it makes a difference in taste.
remove chicken and allow to cool. pour cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and top off until you have 1 Cup of liquid. set aside.
chop chicken into small bites. that is my personal preference. i don't like a big bite of chicken.
in the same pan, drop a pat of butter and add onions and carrots. saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften (use medium heat). you can remove them now, but, i don't, i just make the roux 'around' them.
add 2 TBS of butter, and sprinkle 1/4 Cup of flour to create your roux. cook and stir for a few minutes, then add your 1 Cup of chicken cooking liquid, and 1 Cup of whole milk. yes, you can use 2% milk, but, why? the whole milk tastes better. whisk until smooth.
now, add some thyme (start with a 1/4 tsp. and add to taste), more salt and pepper. you will need quite a bit of salt depending on the broth you used.
add chicken, simmer this on low, until the veggies are tender. they will not tenderize that much more when it cooks in the oven, so make sure they are *almost* the tenderness you are looking for in the end product.
at the end of the simmer, add 1/2 Cup each (or more, i add more) of frozen peas and frozen corn. add them at the end so that they will retain their color. you just want them warmed, b/c they are already fully cooked. you can use canned corn, but frozen tastes worlds better, and for heaven's sake, don't ever use canned peas...EVER!
as far as crust goes, you can use your favorite recipe, but, i have been very lazy lately and have been buying the pillsbury roll-out crust, and it is actually an acceptable substitute in a pinch.
i do the double crust, (one on top and one on the bottom) and then i cut some vents into the top.
425 oven. cover LOOSELY with foil, bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, then unfoil, and next comes the little extra that makes it look purty. i brush some whipping cream over the crust and sprinkle with kosher salt. fleur de sel (sp?) would be even better, but, i never have that hanging around, so i use kosher salt. you could also use an egg wash, but, i truly think the cream tastes and looks better. bake for another 15-20 until done. let it sit for a little bit to set before you dig in.
***I used only one breast, all chicken broth for cooking the chicken, subbed corn for potatoes that I had boiled in broth and didn't have cream so I didn't do the pretty wash.***
It was time consuming but very easy and Emma made a great helper. We all liked it a lot and it tastes like how I remember the old recipe tasting.
The next recipe, if you want to call it that, is for a roast. I found it on a blog and wanted to try it. You take a gravy packet, an onion soup packet, an Italian dressing packet and a ranch packet and dump them all on the roast. Add a little water and then crock-pot that sucker for hours and hours.
I was hoping that this would taste different than my roast, you know, so we could have some variety. To me it didn't taste that different. At least not different enough to justify the additional cost and sodium. I can't even imagine how much sodium we ingested last night. I think I will stick to my one packet of onion soup on the roast from now on. It was still good though.