Tuesday, March 09, 2010

pot pie for the masses

Hey, Samantha! Chicken pot pie!

chicken pot pie

a whole fryer chicken, rinsed
an onion, ends cut off, brown skin on, quartered
3 or 4 celery ribs, cut into a couple of pieces
2 carrots, cut into big pieces
a big bay leaf
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp peppercorns
(optional) a big chunk of fresh turmeric, smashed with the side of a big, wide knife

2 TBSP olive oil
an onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
4 cups bok choy, sliced
10 dried shiitakes soaked in boiling water 15 mins, drained, stemmed, and sliced
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 or 4 cups chicken stock
the cooked chicken
1 cup cream or milk
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP flour

10 sheets phyllo and 2 TBSP melted butter
(or) 1 nine-inch pie crust
(or) a recipe of biscuit dough

Put the chicken with neck and gizzard (but not liver) and the first batch of ingredients in a one-gallon stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for an hour or so (until the chicken falls apart when you try to lift it from the pot). Remove from the heat and lift the chicken onto a plate to cool a bit. Strain the stock into freezer containers, keeping 3 or 4 cups of stock available for the pie.

In the stock pot, sauté the onion in the oil for a minute. Add the rest of the vegetables (you can use any combination of vegetables - potatoes, peas, corn, and celery are all good), sauté another couple of minutes, and then add the seasonings and chicken stock to almost cover the vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes (the vegetables will cook longer in the oven).

While the vegs are cooking, remove the chicken from the bones and add it to the pot. Add the cream or milk. You should have what looks like cream-of-chicken soup (and you do, actually); add more stock if it seems a bit dry. Put the flour into a little teacup and slowly mix the water into the cup. Pour the flour mixture into the pot, stir, raise the heat to medium, and cook for maybe five minutes to thicken the stock.

Pour the whole shebang into a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish or ovenproof bowl. Top the pie with layers of phyllo brushed with butter (tuck the ends into the pie), or a pie crust (frozen ones work great and taste delicious), or a batch of biscuits (homemade or not).

Cover the casserole with the glass lid or aluminum foil and bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 10 minutes so that the top browns a bit. When the pie is bubbly and the top is nice and brown, it's done.
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