Thursday, April 24, 2008

chicken in the car and the car won't go...

Soon it will be too hot to make dishes like this. In fact, come June, I really don't turn the big oven on. I use a small counter top convection oven that works very well without heating up the kitchen but it obviously doesn't hold as much. I suppose I could make individual chicken pot pies to put into the little oven. That's a thought, huh?

I used the second of the unroll and bake Pillsbury pie dough for this. I used it previously to make this quiche. Once again, I was impressed with the bought pie dough. Not exactly as flaky as my own, but really good and very convenient. It should be for the price. I know some cooks like to use a biscuit topping, puff pastry, or even phyllo dough but I am a pie dough girl.

Chicken pot pie
For the chicken and the broth:
4 chicken leg quarters or 4 each chicken legs and thigh
1 gallon water
2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf

For the pot pie:
½ stick of butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 carrots, sliced in 1/2-inch circles
1 large onion, diced
2 cups frozen or fresh peas
chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 1 gallon of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming frequently as the foamy matter rises to the surface. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Continue to cook down the chicken broth for another 15 minutes to condense the flavor; you should have about 8 cups when you're finished. Using a colander, strain the chicken broth into another pot. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the chicken. I like mine chunky, some like it shredded.

In an over proof shallow skillet melt the butter and add carrots, onions, peas, mushrooms, and parsley and cook until the onions are soft then stir in the flour to form a vegetable roux. The butter should absorb all the flour. Now, gradually pour in 4 cups of the chicken broth, stirring the entire time to prevent lumps. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the chicken and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the pie dough to an 11 inch circle and fold in quarters. Lay the folded pie dough over the chicken mixture and then unfold to cover. Flute or crimp the edges. I like mine to look rustic, so I fold and press over using my index fingers. Lightly beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush some on the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

I probably won't make this again until the fall, so this is a farewell to chicken pot pie until September.

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