Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So Much to Blog About ... where do I begin?

I think it's because I recently read Julie and Julia... I am obsessed with cooking new things! (But tasty and normal, not French and involving bone marrow). It's downright kooky. Just yesterday I made Zuni Roast Chicken (absolutely, postively the BEST roast chicken recipe EVER!) and 2 batches of cookies (Chris's favorite, Reeses peanut butter cup cookies; and oatmeal chocolate chip for the teachers at school).

Before that I made blue cheese stuffed meatloaf and two chicken pot pies. It's crazy I tell you.

There's also the chicken pot pie...

Growing up, my mother let each of us "opt out" of a meal and have a hot dog instead. My opt out meal was chicken pot pie. Sorry Mom, I really didn't like the noodle/stew/soup concoction you slaved over -- and she did. She made the noodles from scratch. Now that I'm a mom, I understand how disappointing it is to really want to give your family something GOOD and have them ask for a hot dog instead.

That said, somewhere along the road to adulthood, I started trying other people's chicken pot pie. And guess what -- I loved it. So I searched my meager archives of recipes and found the follwing in the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook --

I've made two so far, neither time did I make the crust. Once I used regular old refrigerated pie crust, and once I used puff pastry crust. Both times I followed the recipe as written, but I know we can lighten this baby up (that'll be next time).

My kids (ok, just Kate) complained about the cooked carrots I'm sure I could put some other veggie in there, but she'd still complain, so why bother?

I'm going to start a section for meals you can make for sick neighbors, new mothers, and potlucks... and this one is going in there first....

Chicken Pot Pie
4 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts (2 lbs)
1 c. heavy or whipping cream
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 zucchini, unpeeled, uct into 1/2 inch pieces
5 T. unsalted butter
2 small yellow onions (8 oz), coarsely chopped
5 T. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. Cognac or dry white wine
1 T. dried tarragon
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 egg
1 T butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking pan. Pour the cream over and bake 25 minutes. Remove chicken from the cream; reserve the cream and cooking juices. Let the chicken cool and cut into 1-inch pieces.
3. Blanch the carrots in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 1 minute more. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain thoroughly.
4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Do not let flour brown.
5. Add the broth andcook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in the reserved cream and cooking juices and the Cognac. Cook over low heat until thick, about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the tarragon, salt, and pepper and simmer 1 minute. Add the chicken and vegetablesa nd mix gently into the cream sauce. Remove from heat.
7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
8. Mix the egg and water in a small bowl. Pour the chicken filling into a deep 2-quart casserole or souffle dish. Roll out pastry and place on the dish. Trim the pastry leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the edge of the dish wiht egg was ten press the overhaning dough onto the dish. Crimp the pastry decoratively and brush the top with egg wash. Cut a steam vent in the center.
9. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake on middle rack until the crust is golden, 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

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