Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken or turkey pot pie (p. 103) , Poached chicken or turkey (p. 423), Creamed chicken or turkey I (p. 445),& Deluxe butter pie or pastry dough (665

I've been in a cooking rut lately and wanted to do something new. So I stole Carol Porter's idea and I let my readers pick what I should make out of three categories with five choices each. Chicken or turkey pot pie (p. 103) won the savory category. I'm rather glad because it allowed a lot of other recipes to be knocked out. I will admit right now that I'm no pot pie aficionado and most of my pot pie experience comes from the cheap frozen ones that cost a dollar.

I started by making Poached chicken or turkey (p. 423). I put my chicken parts (I cut up a whole chicken--much cheaper that way), carrots, celery, chicken stock, an onion, and bouquet garni into a stockpot and covered it with water. I simmered it all until the chicken was tender:



The chicken peeled right off the bone:



The poached chicken was deliciously tender. I poach chicken constantly when I make stock and it's great in recipes because it's tender and moist. The recipe was certainly easy and I used the broth for stock but I think I will stick with my chicken stock recipe which yields the same results.

I needed the poached chicken for Creamed chicken or turkey I (p. 445). I melted butter in a saucepan and then added flour, whisking until smooth.



I removed the pan from the heat and whisked in two cups of the cooking broth from the poached chicken:



When that was smooth, I added half-and-half and whisked some more:



I whisked and whisked. The cream mixture got thick:



I must have been tired of taking pictures at this point! I heated butter, added onion, carrots, and celery, and cooked. I then added peas and parsley, along with the cooked chicken.

I realized that TJOC wanted the pot pie to go in to a 9x13 pan. Wait a minute--a 9x13 pan???? I thought they went in pie dishes? That is going to make a TON of pot pie! I only have one 9x13 pan and it was still in use by the strata so I had to divide and conquer. The pies went in to two smaller pans:



I've actually never tried my hand at a pie crust before. This is particularly strange because I come from a family that is full of amazing pie bakers. I've watched crusts get made tons of times but I've never made a crust that had to be rolled out, likely due to my fear of recipes that require me to use a rolling pin. I decided to start with the Deluxe butter pie or pastry dough (pate brisee) (p. 665). I sifted together flour and salt:



I added butter and vegetable shortening:



I started working it over with my pastry blender:



I eventually incorporated ice water and kept pastry blending it.

But when I tried to roll it out, it did not work! The dough stuck to everything, it wouldn't stay in one piece, it was a disaster. I'm sure there is a simple explanation for this.



I tried Frankensteining my crust on the top of the pot pie. Isn't it the most pathetic thing?



I brushed an egg on the top:



And baked my pot pies:



Absolutely shockingly, my pot pie was delicious! The crust was flaky (although I'm sure it would have been flakier had I made it correctly) and the center was creamy and full of tender chicken and perfectly cooked vegetables. I loved it. Unfortunately, it made a massive, massive amount. The recipe says 6-8 servings. Are they kidding? For who? Growing teens? Yes, maybe it would feed 6-8 kids on their high school basketball team. We ended up having to throw quite a bit away because it was a neverending amount! I'm sure I will make this recipe again because I have to make another type of creamed chicken and I have no idea what to do with creamed chicken except make pot pie.

I always thought pot pies had a crust on each side. Is that not true?

Random facts:
  • Because this crust doesn't include any leavening agents, it doesn't puff up.
  • While reading Wikipedia, I figured out that I don't think I blended my crust enough, so my flour and fat didn't get properly incorporated. I will have to work on that.


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2 comments:

  1. I've had some success with pie crust (although not last time, was a disaster- may have been same issue as yours) but I usually blend it in the food processor. Soooo much faster and easy.

    But I wanted to ask where did you get your whisk?? I love silicone whisks but yours is a much better style/shape than the huge one I have.

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  2. I think of only the frozen kind of having 2 crusts.

    And, yes, more blending of the dough would help. The other thing with a sticky dough is to flour yoru rolling surface & the rolling pin.

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