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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Best Ever Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

I made this for my family last weekend.  I couldn't take it out of oven fast enough.  There was a little left over which re-heated nicely for lunch the next day...

Pie Crust Ingredients (getting that part ready beforehand):
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (best to chill cubes in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 slightly beaten egg white (for egg wash)
(It’s OK to double this if you want to make a casserole sized pie, which is what I did)
Prepare the pie crust dough.

Sift together flour and salt.

Cut in chilled butter.  Then cut in shortening until the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal.

Gradually add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together when pressed between your fingers.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and mold the dough into a ball; then flatten into a disk.  Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days before rolling.

Chicken Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken or 6 to 8 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 4 potatoes
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • ¼ c chopped onion
  • 1 c frozen peas (optional)

Prepare the Filling

Take a whole chicken, and cut by sections, removing skin (toss the liver & kidney portions, but use the wings, heart and neck for the stock).  You can also use boneless chicken breast, but a whole chicken is better with the bones because it makes fabulous stock.

Place the chicken in a pot and add enough water to just cover the chicken, with 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt.  Boil on the stovetop for about 20 minutes; then allow the chicken to cool enough so you can handle it, saving all of the broth.

Set aside the wings, heart and neck you used for the stock.  It doesn’t have very much meat, but it’s good to nibble on while you’re waiting.

Take the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and dump them into a crock pot.  Gradually stir in 2 cans of the stock into the soup, rinsing the remainder of the soup out of the cans and into the crock pot, and blend until there are no lumps (use a wisk, you’ll make quick work of this).

Remove as much chicken as you can from the bones of the chicken.  You want to try to cut the chicken in 1 inch cubes.  Place the chicken in the soup mixture and discard the bones (unless there’s a little bit of meat on them for nibbling first).

Add to the soup mixture the potatoes peeled and cubed, carrots peeled and cut, celery cut into 1 inch chunks and onion (I like green onion).

You can blend a little more of the stock to the soup base to cover the vegetables and chicken, but only until it is just covered, you don’t want to make the soup base too thin.

Let all of this simmer on low for 6 hours or until the potatoes are tender.  If you like peas, you can add them at the 5th hour.  Your soup base should have a thick gravy-like consistency.  If it’s too runny, add 2 tbs. corn starch to a ¼ c cold water, mix it until it looks like milk, and blend into the soup base at the 5th hour.  It will thicken it up a little.

Once the filling is done, turn off the crock pot and let it cool a little while you prepare the crust.

Prepare The Pie

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly spray the baking pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

Separate dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll out first portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a little less than a quarter-inch thick. Carefully lay the portion of dough onto baking pan, letting the edges hang off.

Fill the pie with the filling.

Roll out the second portion of dough and carefully place over filled pie.  Brush edge of pie with egg white wash then fold over and pinch edge slightly to seal shut.

Cut a 1-inch vent into pie.

Brush egg white wash onto top of pie. Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You're not going to believe how many cookie recipe links...

My uncle sent me this a couple of years ago; these links direct you to a different cite - it's so fun.  What he did was gone on ahead and hyper linked each recipe so all you had to do was just click and go.  A real time-saver.  I've tested a few of these, and they are absolutely amazing (my family loves the Peanut Butter Blossoms).  Happy baking!