Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

We finally seem to be enjoying the fabulous fall weather and all the smells and chores that come along.  I love seeing the bright autumn leaves fall to the ground always appreciating that Mother Nature’s eye for color is the most magnificent and refined (sorry Martha, she has even you beat).   I also don’t mind raking the leaves either….it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see a glorious multi-colored mound, sometimes two feet high, at the curb ready for the Borough’s industrial strength shop-vac  to come gather them up.  Of course, the prize for all that raking and collecting is the wonderful organic mulch we enjoy in the spring! 
I might feel differently about leave raking if I had to bag the twirling beauties.

Regardless, even when the kids in the ‘hood romp in my well-ordered yet temporary suburban knoll, the crisp air, the earthy smells, and the runway of crispy leaves remind me to delight in the wonder of season and take it all in. I love to people watch in the fall, all bundled up in their newly resurrected woolen favorites….I like to try to spot the hand-knitted pieces!

Autumn is also when we begin to enjoy heartier dishes, baked in the oven, aromatic and served piping hot.  Sometimes it’s hard to wait for the dish to cool and congeal before diving in!  Take Chicken Pot Pie, for instance.  That a look at this stunner that C. served last Wednesday!

Pot pies have deep roots (the Romans served them with live birds that flew out when cut!), but it was the Brits who perfected meat pies.  The west-ward bound English settlers brought the recipes with them to the new land and we still enjoy varieties in the States today.

There are a gazillion recipes for Chicken Pot Pie.  The one I share below is from an old and well-loved cookbook of C.’s.  I also have a favorite that uses phyllo dough for the crust but the filling is very similar.  C. used Trader Joes pie pastry crust….it’s made with real butter, not some butter charlatan. Making pie crust is a precise skill, so with options like TJ’s or Pillsbury available, why bother with homemade! 

Chicken Pot Pie

3 cups of cooked chicken
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup of sliced onions
1/3 thinly sliced green pepper, seeds and membranes removed
3 Tablespoons flour
1 ½ cup chicken stock
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons white wine
½ cup frozen peas
Minced chives and parsley
2 pre-made pie crusts

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Melt the butter and sauté the onions (also celery if desired). Placed the sliced peppers on top and cook slowly for 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour gradually.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chicken stock, the egg yolks, the peas and the chicken.  Stir over a low heat just long enough for the sauce to thicken.  Add the white wine. 

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over and sprinkle with the chives and parsley. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I am a week behind in my posts but this past week it was my turn to cook and I made Shrimp Scampi with gluten-free pasta…that’s all I’m going to say about that little episode.  In a redemptive maneuver, I made Zucchini Bread and I'll share that recipe with everyone. 

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