Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pie Pilgrimage - Chicken Pot Pie

This is the perfect time of the year for today's recipe. 

Bulky coats, heavy sweaters...

They will cover up those extra couple of pounds - until, spring anyway.

Go ahead, have another serving of this no-excuses heavenly rich Chicken Pot Pie that is, without a doubt, just like your grandmother used to make.

Though not a traditional "pie" in the sense of the word as most people would first think.  A chicken pot pie is a pie, none-the-less.  There is a pastry crust and there is a filling, therefore making this a bona fide, true-blue, honest-to-goodness P.I.E.

I had a very hard time reserving myself to eat just one serving, although, I might have left a little extra on the spoon while I was cleaning up after dinner so I could lick it clean.

It's that good!

This recipe came from a new cookbook I received from my mom parents for Christmas.  The title is, "The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook" by Maggie Green.  Admittedly, I wasn't blown away by this cookbook at first glance.  No glossy, colorful pictures.  That is always a must for me.  But then, after the holiday craziness settled down and I had a few moments to sit down with it and really get into it, I realized that this was going to be a great read and a fun source for some new recipes.  One of my favorite features about this cookbook is that Maggie presents her recipes in a month-by-month layout so that you are given recipes for when the main ingredient is either in-season or when it would be most suitable to serve it.  For example, she offers a Super Bowl party menu and accompanying recipes in February.  Likewise, tips for picking and baking with blackberries show up in the chapter on July.  (Another reason to wish summer would get here fast!)  The author has also included some spectacular writing, sharing anecdotes from her life.  I plan to sample recipes from this book throughout the year, so stay tuned and plan to hear from this cookbook many times over!

Chicken Pie
Here's What You Need:
crust -
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold and cut into 1-inch slices
3-4 Tablespoons ice water

filling -
1/2 stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg

Here's What You Do:
First, please don't become intimidated by the long list of ingredients.  It really is very simple to put together.  Just get your ingredients altogether and ready to go so you have everything out as you move through the instructions.

For the crust, place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor with a metal blade.  Pulse until the butter is chopped into pea-size pieces.  Add 3 Tablespoons of the ice water and pulse the processor about 10 times, or just until the dough starts to form a ball.  Add the final Tablespoon of water if necessary to form the dough.  Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and fold the wrap around the dough to seal it.  press the dough into a disc and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the pie, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until they are soft.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Add the flour and thyme and stir until all of the flour is absorbed.  Stir in the milk, broth and wine.  Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low.  Simmer this mixture until it thickens.  Add the chicken, peas, parsley, salt and pepper.  Pour the filling into the dish.  On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about an 11x15 inch rectangle.  Place the dough over the filling and crimp the edges or press them with a fork.  With a thin knife, cut several V-shaped vents in the top of the crust.  Mix the egg with about 1 Tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over the top of the crust.  Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubble.  If it looks like the crust is getting a bit too brown but there is a significant amount of baking time left, loosely place a piece of foil over the top of the baking dish.

Prepare for your family to fall at your feet thanking you for making them such a delicious meal! 

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