Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe


RIP Hedwig

This morning it was finally time to thin the rooster ranks. We have three roosters to our twenty 23 hens, well, now two roosters. That's right, Farmer Don and Farmer Figgins killed their first chicken today. And though it started with some uncertainty, we said our thanks and our goodbyes to Hedwig, and did the deed.  Rest in peace Hedwig. 



Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

-2 pie shells
-1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs, trimmed of excess fat
-2 onions
-3 bay leaves
-salt
-pepper
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup flour
-1 cup diced onion
-1 cup diced carrot
-1 cup sliced celery
-1 cup cubed potatoes
-1 cup peas (frozen are fine, don't bother to thaw)
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
-1/2 cup cream, half in half or heavy cream
-1 egg, beaten




1. Put the chicken and onions in a large pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a boil over medium-low heat. 

2. Skim any foam that rises to the surface of the pot. Add the bay leaves, pepper and a generous pinch of salt.

3. Prepare your 2 pie shells and refrigerate for 1 hour. (recipe below)

4. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Continue skimming off any foam that rises. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted into te thickest part of the the thigh reads 155-165 F. 

5. Strain pot, remove the chicken to cool and save the cooking liquid. 

6. When cooled, remove meat from the bones, roughly chop or pull into pieces, and save for later. 

7. Take the cooking liquid and return to the stove. Place the carcass in the pot (you may want to break it up into pieces up a bit so they're all submerged, but don't add any extra water). Bring it back to a boil, reduce the heat so it steadily bubbles and let it bubble and boil for 20 minutes.

8. Strain into a wide pot, bring the liquid back to the stove and bring back to a boil. Reduce until you have about 1 1/2 cups, or 15-30 minutes. 

Tip for making ahead of time: Chicken and cooking liquid can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

9. Preheat over to 375 F. Generously grease a 2 quart baking dish. A 9" pie pan or a deep-dish pie pan work well here. 

10. Put 1/4 cup of butter or extra virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes, or until softened and tender. 


11. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour, and continue cooking and stirring until it starts to turn brown. Add the sage and cook and stir for another minute.

Tip for making ahead of time: You can refrigerate the vegetable mixture at this point for up to a day, the  reheat just before proceeding. 

12. Add the chicken-cooking liquid and the cream to the vegetable-flour mixture and turn the heat up to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. 

13. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, then turn off the heat and stir in the chicken pieces and peas. 

14. Put the mixture in your prepared baking dish and bottom pastry shell.  

15. Roll out the second pastry shell and cover the baking dish. Lay it on top of the dish and flute it as for a pie crust.

16. Cut 3-4 vents in the top. 

17. Brush the top with the beaten egg.

18. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 



Best Pastry Shell (makes 2 pie shells)



-3 cup all-purpose flour
-1 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 large egg
-1 teaspoon white vinegar
-5 tablespoons whole milk



1. With a pastry blender or a fork, combine flour, shortening and salt in a large bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. 

2. In small bowl, mix egg, vinegar and milk; add to flour mixture, mixing only until dough holds together in a ball. If the dough is too sticky, as in sticking to the sides of the bowls and shaggy looking, add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time. If its too dry and not coming together, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time. 

3. When solid, divide ball into two, wrap in plastic warp and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, pull out one ball of dough. Roll out and put in your baking dish, refrigerate until ready to be filled.


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