in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

An updated version of a Chicken Pot Pie seemed in order with winter in full swing. A great classic cold weather meal made with a few updated ingredients, not too many, just a few for the modern cook to wiggle her fingers a bit.
Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
5 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup cold water
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 cup sliced fingerling potatoes
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup chicken or turkey gravy (see recipe below)
Mix flours and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Soften oil slightly and stir into flour. Add water and combine to form a ball. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle about 8 inches wide. Tuck the crust into 4 ramekins (4 x 2 inches), and allow excess dough to flop over the top. Push to seal the overlaps that will occur up the sides of the ramekins. Place on a baking sheet and set aside. Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and with shears cut bacon into 1/4 inch slices over hot skillet. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add onions and cook another minute. Add carrots and celery and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in potato slices and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, sage, rosemary and pepper. Cook for 1 more minute then add peas and chicken. Cook until peas are thawed, about 2 minutes, then stir in gravy. Place 1/4 of the filling mixture in to each ramekin, pull the excess crust over the filling, leaving an opening in the center. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot in ramekins.
Hints: Don't melt the coconut oil completely, just a quick jolt in a microwave to soften enough to blend with the flour. Mix it with the back of a spoon or with your hands. You can also cut it in like you would shortening or butter if you don't want to soften it up. If your bacon doesn't have much grease, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of butter when sauteing the veggies. Adjust the amount of the various veggies as you see fit; lower the proportion of potatoes if you want, add in parsnips or use sweet potato chunks instead of fingerling slices. It's what you have on hand cooking at it's root. Sauteing the veggies helps with the final taste and texture. The free form look indicates good rustic cooking but you certainly can make these more refined looking by using a top crust with cut outs or add ons.

Simple Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy (This recipe can be halved)
Drippings from the roasting pan plus milk to equal 3 cups
2 to 3 teaspoons chicken stock paste
1/3 cup flour mixed with an additional 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat drippings and milk over medium heat until simmering. Add stock paste and mix thoroughly. Whisk in the flour and milk mixture. Reduce heat and cook until thicken, stirring often. Taste to adjust seasoning and add more chicken stock paste or salt if needed. Finish with the heavy cream. Heat through and serve. (Recipe can be made without drippings by increasing stock paste and adding at least 1 tablespoon butter.)

This is always a hit for dinner at my house. It is a stick to your ribs, comfort food that feels as good as it tastes somehow. Home cooking is really about satisfaction on many levels and dishes like pot pie get you there.

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