Fiddling With My Food!

Enjoying your food is FUNdamental!

My Chicken Pot Pie!

Myke’s Chicken Pot Pie 

We practically raised our kids eating those easy, cheap frozen pot pies from the grocery store.  But, I’ll bet I haven’t eaten one for ten years.  After a while they just didn’t do it for me.

Lately though, I’ve had a hankering for one.  I decided to make them myself.  I wanted something special.  Having never had any other than those cheap store bought ones, I don’t have a standard to shoot for.  But, hey, how hard can it be?

I decided to give it a go and after making it twice in a week, with nothing but rave reviews from all eaters, figured it was time to share my recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – boneless skinless chicken breasts, steamed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup – ham, cubed
  • 2 – large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 – large carrot, cubed
  • 2 – stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 – yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove – garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup – frozen peas
  • 1/2 – small butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 cup – Craizins (dried cranberries), chopped
  • 8 tbsp – butter
  • 4 tbsp – all purpose flour
  • 4 cups – milk
  • 1 tsp – salt
  • 1/2 – tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 – tsp – chicken bullion
  • 2 – Pillsbury pie crusts
  • 1  heaping tbsp – fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 – egg, beaten

Wash the chicken and place in a steamer basket.  Steam on high heat for 10 minutes.  It’ll be okay if the chicken isnt’ entirely done at this point.

Saute’ onion and garlic in 4 tbsp of butter.

Cube steamed chicken (so nice and tender)  and add to the sauteing onions.  Add sage. Simmer until time to add to the remaining ingredients.

Now steam all of the remaining vegetables.  They too, don’t have to go until they’re entirely soft.  10 minutes should do it.

In a pot make a roux with 4 tbsp butter, flour, salt and pepper.  A blond roux would be fine, but I want a yellower sauce so I cook the roux, stirring constantly, until becomes a golden brown.  Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Add bullion.

Add sauteed chicken, vegetables, Craizins and ham to the sauce.

Place mixture in oven proof, individual sized, deep pie dishes.  Unroll the pie crusts and lay over the top.  Trim the edges.  You can piece the pie crust with scraps of crust, it doesn’t have to be whole.  Sweetie thought the pieced ones were cuter and more appealing.  With your fingers, press the dough to the edge of the dish.  Brush the crust with egg.  With a parring knife cut four vent holes.

Bake in preheated oven at 350  degrees for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Makes four six inch pies or six 4 1/2 inch.  My last batch I doubled the recipe and ran out of dishes.  Not wanting to waste the remaining pie filling I made a couple of Pasties.  To do this you need to let the filling cool.  Lay your crust over a cereal bowl and tuck the crust into a bowl shape being careful not to stretch the crust.  Fill the cavity and then fold the crust up over the filling.  Pinch together in four tucks and trim off the extra.  Carefully turn the tucked side down onto a greased cookie sheet, brush with egg, vent at the very top and bake as before.

Pasties are often served with gravy or melted butter over the top.  We just ate them as they were, right out of the oven.

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January 18, 2008 Posted by | Chicken, Ham, Meat Pie, Vegetables | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Proper Tools

Nothing my sweetheart has done to foster my cooking has been more significant than supplying me with the proper tools.  Being a man with a tool fetish anyway, it was only natural that such a lust would carry over to the kitchen.  My workshop is well equipped.  I wouldn’t expect to build something worth the time and materials without tools that would facilitate a fine product.  The same applies to the kitchen.

 I invited myself to her first Pampered Chef party.  I was the only man in attendance.  The presenter was a bit awkward having me there.  I kept asking questions.  Well, look, that chopper was fantastic!  I fell in love right away!  But I wanted the Binford 2000 version that could chop of whole head of cauliflower at once!  Arrr!  Arrr!  Arrr!  I mean we’re not messin’ around here, there’s food to cook!

My enthusiasm was contagious though and we now have a well stocked kitchen with nearly every tool imaginable.  Drawers and cupboards full of tools and appliances all designed to prepare what we eat in an efficient and delectable manner.  We are both amazed at how much more fun cooking is and at how frequently each tool finds it’s way to the dishwasher. 

Now, don’t rush out and break the bank stocking up on tools.  I’ve camped for a week with nothing more than a cast iron frying pan and a pocket knife.  You can get by with what you have.  Just work toward improving your collection of implements.

Without a doubt, the most versatile and well used tool in our kitchen is our Kitchen Aid Mixer (pictured above.)  From mixing Dilly Bread to Whipped Potatoes, Banana Shakes to Pancake batter, Meringue to cookie dough, that little implement is on the job, day and night.  That baby’s got horsepower Arr! Arrr!  Scared the bejeebers outa my brother-in-law though, when my nephew stuck a finger in to get some cookie dough while she was cranking.  He scolded the kid and told him he was never allowed near a mixer again!  Now that was unconscionable in sweeties book and she said so.  “Now, I’m sure,” she said, “that safety is important, but if little Joey was going to the bathroom and the seat fell down on his little tally-wacker, would you tell him he could never use the toilet again!?”  Poor kid could have been frightened of the kitchen for life!  For goodness sakes, be careful, but don’t forget to have some fun and steal a little cookie dough once in a while.

For Christmas sweetie requested a Kitchen Aid Food Processor.  Who was I to complain.  Binford can’t touch that baby.  Whole heads of cauliflower here I come!  Were talking broccoli soup in an instant!  This is going to be good.  And she doesn’t even mind if I have a turn at it!

January 11, 2008 Posted by | Tools, Vegetables | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments