Tag Archives: chicken

Perfect Night for Pie

chicken pieChicken pot pie is one of the most cozy meals I can imagine. Flaky crust sheltering tender bits of chicken and vegetables all gathered together with a light gravy.  When I was a kid my Mom would buy the little frozen chicken pies and stow them in the freezer as a treat for me.  While it is nice to have a meal that is just heat and eat,  part of the comfort for me now is the slow process of making a savory pie.

Today I woke to cold, wind-whipped rain slamming against the bedroom windows. Despite the downpour, I ran way too many errands getting soaked in the process.  After a trip to two banks, the dry cleaners, and delivering jam to several stores;  I stopped into Whole Foods and they had chicken parts on sale.  I already had some root vegetables from the winter farmers market and I decided it was the perfect time for staying home the rest of the day and making pie.

Here is my Chicken Pot Pie recipe which yields extra stock and extra chicken for another recipe.  Stay at home days don’t come often for me so later in the week I can use the chicken for chicken tacos and the stock to start a quick soup.

8-10 cups of water
1 whole chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs (both bone-in) chicken stock
4-5 carrots
2 parsnips
1 small turnip
1 onion
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt
a few springs of rosemary, parsley, and thyme

Peel onion, carrots, parsnips, turnip and cut into large chunks
Split chicken breast in half
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil
Simmer for an hour or until chicken is tender
Strain stock and let chicken and vegetables cool slightly
Separate the chicken meat from the bones
Slice the carrots, parsnips, and turnip into bite-sized pieces
Reserve about 4 cups of stock and 3 cups of chicken and the vegetables for the pie filling.  Store the rest of the chicken and stock for another meal.

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter cut in about teaspoon sized pieces chicken pie sliced
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in food processor or mixer bowl
Add shortening and butter and mix until pea sized crumbs form
Pour in cold water and mix just until the dough comes together.
Gather dough in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight

Pie Filling
3-4 cup chicken
1 small onionchicken pie filling
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 cups of stock
1/4 cup cream
2/3 cup frozen peas
carrots and parsnips from stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon instant flour such as Wondra

Slice the onion and cut slices in half
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and saute onions and mushroom until onions are just translucent
Add stock and simmer until reduced by about one-third
Add carrots, parsnips, turnip, and chicken
Add instant flour and cook until very thick
Add frozen peas and cream and set aside to cool slightly

Making the Pie
Prepared and chilled pie dough
Prepared pie filling
1 egg yolk plus 2 tablespoons of water for egg wash
9″ deep dish pie pan

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Divide the pie dough in half
Roll half of the dough to about 1/4″ thick 12″ circle and place in the pie pan, pressing gently into the pan and leaving edges overhanging
Pour filling into the pan
Roll remaining dough to 1/4″ thick circle and cover the filling in the pie pan
Cut off any extra dough and crimp the edges by using a pie crimper or pressing between thumb and forefinger all around the edge
Cut a few slits for steam to escape during baking
Brush top with egg wash
(optional) use the leftover dough to make decorations using a cookie cutter and attach using a bit of the egg wash
Bake for 1 hour until nicely brown and cooked through


Sunshine on a Snowy Day

orange chicken w couscousLast week was filled with snow and ice and mittens and boots.  The food blogs and magazines shared ideas for hearty winter dishes but I was craving beach weather and sunshine and no root vegetable stew or squash soup was going to fit the bill.

I was at Whole Foods when some Cara Cara oranges caught my eye and I brought them home for a snack along with chicken breasts, local greenhouse tomatoes, and a box of couscous for dinner.  As I unpacked my groceries it struck me that the oranges would make a delicious addition to my dinner.  I squeezed the juice of one of the oranges and cut the other in sections.  I coated the chicken breasts in seasoned flour and sautéed them in olive oil.  When both sides were seared, I threw some capers into the pan along with a splash of white wine and the sweet and tart Cara Cara juice.  While the chicken finished cooking inside, a lovely glaze formed and at the last minute of cooking I added the orange sections and a touch of butter.

Meanwhile the couscous was cooked simply in chicken broth and was going to look rather of plain next to the bright splash of the orange chicken.  I quickly toasted some walnuts and mixed them with a handful of dried cranberries into my couscous.

I made a salad of fresh greenhouse grown greens and tomatoes and set the table with a basket of colorful primeroses and lemon yellow placemats.  Suddenly, it was summer, well, at least until we looked out the window.

Light the Lights-Day 6

chicken and latkesI will leave it to you to decide if I am the best stepmother ever or the worst.  As we rushed through the supermarket to buy more potatoes for latkes, I suggested to my stepdaughter that I could make Chicken Schnitzel (one of her favorite dishes) for our Hanukkah supper.  Since it is traditional to eat fried foods it would make as good a holiday meal as the latkes. 

“Yes” she cried “latkes and fried chicken for dinner!”  I had meant that I would serve one or the other along with perhaps some steamed brocoli or a nice green salad but somehow we ended up gleefully leaving the market with chicken and potatoes, but not another vegetable in sight.  I proceeded to make my family the Jewish holiday equivalent of a KFC Double Down for dinner.  Healthy it was not, but as a once a year treat, this dinner was a winner!

Chicken Shnitzel
1 pound of chicken cutlets or about 4 pieces
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
dash of paprika, salt & pepper
oil for frying

Pound the cutlets between sheets of wax paper
Mix the paprika, salt & pepper into flour
Mix breadcrumbs with cheese and Italian seasoning
Beat eggs with milk
Dredge each cutlet in flour and then dip in egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs
Heat about 1/2″ of oil in large frying pan
Fry the cutlets until golden brown on both sides and cooked through
Serve with latkes and lots of homemade apple sauce

If you are serving a kosher-style meal, substitute water for milk and replace the cheese with more breadcrumbs.