Saturday, January 24, 2009

Food to Fend off Frostbite!

Last Saturday, I posted that great apple/honey baked chicken recipe. This Saturday, I'm ordering you to bake the chicken.... and turn the leftovers in to chicken soup.

Just use the juices from baking the chicken, plus the chicken meat cut off the bone, and all the apples and onions. Add some more sauteed onion, carrots, and celery. Add extra chicken broth to fill out the soup to 4 or 5 cups worth of liquid. And Egg noodles. That's it. It's delicious. A little savory. A little sweet. And absolutely delicious.

But that's not all. I had one other gem this week. Chicken pot pie. I started with a Paula Dean recipe... and I IMPROVED it. Oh yes. It was grand! I added bacon to a Paula Dean recipe!!!

Lady and Sons Chicken Pot Pie
- as modified by yours truly
  • 4 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 chicken breast halves, or 2 cups leftover cooked chicken (I just used one large chicken breast cut up)
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart heavy cream (I just used the whole milk we keep on hand for Elliot and it was still indulgent!)
  • 1/4 cup chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, cooked (I sauteed carrots, onion, zuccini, and green beans for the filling... it's what I had on hand, and it turned out great).
  • 1 cup chopped cooked carrots
  • Pinch fresh grated nutmeg, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut each sheet of frozen puff pastry into 1-inch strips, 8 inches long. On a large cookie sheet, weave strips into a lattice large enough to cover each pot pie. Brush beaten egg onto each lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes, or until dough has risen and turned light golden brown. Set aside until ready to assemble pies. Leave oven on at 350 degrees F. (the weaved lattice makes eating the pies easier, but Maya and I had a lot of fun varying the styles of our pie toppers... hers, of course, had an M on it)

3. Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into chunks. Alternatively, you may use precooked chicken. (I added to strips of thick cut bacon... it made a huge difference in the flavor of the chicken and the flavor of the filing in general )

4. In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly add flour, stirring until consistency of peanut butter, but not brown like a roux. Slowly add cream and keep stirring. Add chicken base, garlic, and onion and stir until thickened. Add peas, carrots, nutmeg, if using, and cut up chicken. Remove from heat. Fill 4 individual oven-proof bowls with chicken mixture and then top each with a pre-cooked lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Any remaining pie filling may be frozen.

Perfect for a cold day in the dark heart of winter!

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