Wednesday, November 4

Chicken Pot Pie, Part Two: Something Clever Regarding Pie

Welcome back! It's Day 2 of our little project, and while this stage requires more work, we don't have to wait four hours for it's conclusion. Forgive the size of the pictures today; I was in a hurry, so everything came out blurry. Hey, that rhymed. I'm so clever. Anyway, smaller pictures are forgiving, so you'll have to deal with 400x300 imaging for this round.

Now that we have assembled our stock, our chicken meat, and our schmaltz, it's time to put them to work. But first, our mise en place!

(of course, for those of you qui ne parle pas le francais, that means "stuff we's gon toss into other stuff.)

Behold, our vegetation!

Nothing exciting here. Yes, those pearl onions and peas are frozen. They're easier to work with. Also, as a side note, nomming on a frozen onion is not as good an idea as it sounds. Onionsicles = thumbs down.

Other flavorants?

Mmm. Next to the garlic, you can see some grated ginger. I love ginger in any sort of chicken soupish application. Try it, you'll see what I mean. Can't identify the powdered stuff? I don't blame you, the picture sucks. That's dried thyme, ground allspice, and fresh-grated nutmeg. Not in that order, though.

Now that we've got all our ducks in a row, let's hop to the action. Chicken pot pie gravy, like all good thickened-broth things, starts with a roux. And a roux, as you all know, is equal parts fat and flour...

(in tonight's performance, the part of fat will be played by schmaltz, bolstered with butter.)

...mixed together over low heat until it tans into a pasty concoction.

To this, we add, in order, two quarts of stock, a healthy dose of salt and pepper, the spices and whatnot, and the vegetation. Bring all this to a boil, and you've got:

Soup! Gravy, technically, but whatever. Regardless of what you want to call it, we still have to stir in one last ingredient.

Fare thee well, Murray. You have served us nobly. Now get in there.

Whew. Fun times. Now just ladle into a big ol' baking dish...

Top with rounds of puff pastry...

And bake! And if you've been a really good boy/girl, Santa will swap out that gooey mess you put into the oven for this:

Ta da! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my first attempt at chicken pot pie. I'll be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment in places. The gravy was far too watery, the puff circles were limp and flat. But it still tasted darn good. And the recipe had a lot of soup left over... I think I'm going to freeze it and take another swing at this in the future. A little extra thickening, some fancier puff pastry work, and I think I'm there.

Cheers, kids. I'll see you on the morrow. I think.

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