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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie - Family Style

This recipe is great because much of the prep can be done days in advance. Use a variety of vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and meat cuts.

  • 1 whole chicken, boiled (or cooked in crock pot)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tsp “Chicken Base Better than Bouillon”
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the pastry:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
NOTE: We cheated by using a store bought pie crust.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
NOTE: Items used in cooking the whole chicken we not listed above.
Place chicken in pot with water (or in crock pot) with a whole rough chopped onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, tbsp black pepper corns, 3 stalks rough chopped celery, 3 bay leaves, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, fresh oregano. When chicken is finished cooking, it will be tender, nearly falling off bone. Remove bones, skin, excess fat and unwanted pieces. Shred or rough chop chicken meat.  You will have 6-8 cups of chicken, making for a very inexpensive and meaty meal.
Strain stock and place in covered bowl overnight. Fats will solidify on top overnight, and may be easily removed the next day. The balance of the liquid is wonderfully flavorful, homemade chicken stock.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the Chicken Base Better Than Bouillon in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. 

Add the chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry: Either cheat we like we did, or make homemade: mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Note: It will fit nicely in a 4-quart pyrex-type bowl to serve 12, spooned out family style. Place crust on top, and crimp edges of crust, putting 3 vent holes in the middle. Place on baking sheet to avoid any messy accidents. Bake at 375 until crust is golden brown and middle is bubbly, about 45-60 minutes. There were lots of left overs. 

Ina suggests individual serving and baking dishes. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
NOTE: Ina’s original recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

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