Sunday, June 1, 2008

Where We Make a Couple of Chicken Pot Pies

This recipe utilized the chicken I made last night in the crock pot. We love pot pies and chicken is one of my personal favorites. There was enough to make 2 pies, one for us and one for our neighbor Phil.

I began with making the pie dough. I decided to make a doubled recipe out of my Joy of Cooking cookbook: 3 cups of flour, 1½ teaspoons of salt, 2/3 and half of a third measure of Crisco, 4 tablespoons of butter.

Using the pastry blender I worked this until it looked sort of lumpy. Folks in recipes say it should look like coarse corn meal. I don't know about that. I've never seen corn meal look like what I always do with my pie dough. Maybe I've led a sheltered life.

The next step was to fork in the ice water. The recipe called for 6 Tablespoons, but I always use more. In this instance I think it was more along the lines of 8 or perhaps even 10. I sort of lost count. Work it in until the dough doesn't want to fall apart anymore.

I had a friend once who used to win blue ribbons with her pies. She told me the secret was to handle the dough with your hands as little as possible and to use ice water.

Usually I just start in rolling dough at this point, but today I divided it into 2 equal parts, wrapped it up in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge while I prepared the chicken part of the pot pie.

I cut the chicken away from the bones, gave a rather large helping to our cat Captain Jack who wouldn't leave me alone and ended up with 4 cups diced to use in the pies. Then, I debated whether to use the veggies from the crock pot which were sort of on the mushy side, but the guides said to throw them in. Why I'm getting a visual picture of some guide holding his nose I don't know unless they didn't actually urge me to do that. Could be I forgot. I did complain to them as we were preparing this dish that I probably wasn't going to be able to remember all the stuff they said. They said they'd help me out when it came time to write it up.

I measured out 2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables to add to the veggies left over from last night and then began preparing the white sauce.

And, as the guides said this is where they stepped in to help.

I melted 4 tablespoons of butter in my skillet and then threw in 4 heaping Tablespoons of flour. I may have put too much in because later on I had to keep adding more and more liquid to get the sauce to the right consistency. Anyway, however you do the flour you can start after it's had time to ball up in the skillet and cook through a little bit by adding 2 cups of milk. I also sprinkled on a good teaspoon of chicken bouillon. I have the powdered kind right now, so that worked out well. Had I used a cube I would have nuked it in a little water to dissolve it.

After it cooked I began adding a bit of seasoning. A little salt and pepper, a bit of chevril just because I like it and some Beau Monde in honor of my mother who used to use it in all sorts of things.

Then, I went out onto our patio and raided the kitchen garden and stripped off some oregano and a few sprigs of parsley. Added that all in and as it cooked and got really gluey and stiff began adding in the extra liquids. I started with milk, but the guides stepped in and said, "You'll be sorry." You know how they say that too: "You'll be soooorrrrrryyy." I don't know so much as how I'd be sorry adding more milk unless I'm going to need it for something else down the road or if water was just the better choice. In any case, it is a guide tactic to really get my attention and to get it quickly when they say, "You'll be sooorrrryyy." like they do. So, I stopped with the extra milk to thin out the mixture and switched to water.

Rolling out the pie dough was uneventful other than the fact that I don't have enough counter space. So, with a bit of grumbling that commenced. Then, I sprayed Pam into the pie tins and loaded them with the chicken mixture. Topped both pies with their lid. I didn't use pie dough underneath this time simply because there wasn't enough.

Then the roses for the tops. Roll out your left over dough and trace out a petal sort of shape. Work it with your fingers until the edge looks like you think a flower petal might look like. Roll it gently into the middle of the flower and add on another petal. I used 3 petals for these pies. Usually I use more, but today I did quickie flowers. Position the flower by gouging out a good sized circle that it can sit in.

Then, you make the leaves. By now you'll need to ball up the dough you've been making petals out of because there won't be anymore room to cut out the leaves and roll it out again. It doesn't matter how many times you ball it up and roll it out because this is not really going to be eaten. It's for decoration. However, DeeDude always claims the rose and says he likes it, so I guess he doesn't mind it being sort of tough.

Once you have a leaf shape drape it over the tip of your finger and gently, very gently use your knife to score in the veins. Dip the end in some water to use as glue and artfully drape and arrange it around the flower.
Cut some slits into the top of the pies to let the steam out. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 50 minutes. Or so.

And, since it's done now and my stomach is growling, I think we can eat.


Donna said...

I'll bet that this is not Only good but I Love the flower on top!! You're So talented Girl!!hughugs

Lady Rose said...

That is just lovely! and I am sure it tastes awesome too.

Perhaps you would consider submitting a recipe the entrecard cookbook project :)
(recipes will be collected and published in late fall in an ebook and highlighting the blogs that participated)

Mariuca said...

YUM! I love chicken pot pies and yours sure look delicious! :):):)

Garden Gnome said...

I love the flower on top! Very nice touch.

mel said...

I love chicken pies but have yet to try and make one myself ... maybe with this guide of yours, I will... soon hopefully! :)