Sunday, February 28, 2010

Favorite Friday

Every Friday I will post a favorite recipe of ours, one we have made countless times, with a brief description. The next time we cook it, I'll add some photos. Posting at least one favorite a week will ensure weekly content regardless of whether or not I have time to otherwise cook, photograph, and blog that week, and I get to share our favorites with you!

The first featured recipe is Chicken Pot Pie, a recipe we have made countless times since it first appeared in the May 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  It's taken on a life of its own and we've managed to tweak it over the years. I will post our version and a link to the original, so you can compare (and see how easy it is to change it up a bit based on what you have in the fridge).  This is one of the only recipes we don't half or otherwise reduce in size, and we always eat all of the leftovers.

Chicken Pot Pie
The perfect thing to do with leftover chicken.  We have used leftover roast chicken, leftover smoked chicken, fresh rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and leftover turkey.

Crust: if you make your own crust (well worth it), keep in mind that this process must be started at least an hour and a half before you want to eat, so there is enough time to chill the dough.  If you're short on time, use a prepared rolled pie crust, and start the crust recipe at the rolled out dough part.
1 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, chilled, cut into half-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg yoke and 1 more tablespoon ice water
Preheat oven to 425.  Combine the first 3 ingredients in the food processor, blend until mixture becomes a coarse meal texture.  Add ice water as needed to moisten the dough.  When moist clumps form, remove the dough.  Gather it into a ball and flatten it into a rectangle, about an inch thick.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.  Remove the dough, roll it out on a floured surface to an approximate 12" x 8" rectangle.  Cut dough into Bake on parchment paper in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes until golden.  They can sit after baking for a little while as you finish the filling.

7 tablespoons butter, divided into 2 and 5
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (shiitake with stems removed, crimini, oyster)
3 or 4 peeled carrots (cut into 1/2" pieces)
3 or 4 celery stalks (cut into 1/2" pieces)
1 medium onion chopped
other vegetable options: frozen peas, green beans, cubed potatoes, and so on
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or sage or a combination
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup dry white wine (optional, of course, replace with 1/2 cup broth in the same place in the recipe if omitting)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 cups (or whatever you have) roughly torn or chopped roast chicken (or turkey)
1/3 cup whipping cream (or milk)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil in large pot.  Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, and any other non-frozen vegetables to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender.
Add the thyme/sage and garlic, stir for 3 minutes.  Add the wine and boil until almost all the liquid is gone. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil.  

Combine the remaining butter and the flour in a bowl. Over medium heat, add the butter and flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, stirring until dissolved. If the mixture reaches the desired thickness before all of the butter-flour is used, discard remaining butter-flour. 

Add the chicken, the cream, any frozen vegetables, and parsley at this time.  Simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Filling will last at least 8 hours chilled.

Transfer filling into an oven-safe dish, approximately 9" x 13", or smaller if you prefer more filling to less crust.  Top with the crust pieces and bake at 425 for 20 - 25 minutes until the entire thing is heated through and flavors meld.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

If baking from a chilled filling, let filling come to room temperature (about an hour) before baking.

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