Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicken Pot Pies and Oscar Night

Now that Dancing With the Stars and the Winter Olympics are behind us what do we do with our time? Oscar night, that's what! I recently heard that Wolfgang Puck is the official caterer for the Governor's Ball after the Academy Awards, a position that he has held for 20 years. "Why?" I wondered. He is a great chef. As I dug deeper I learned that the dish that he must serve every year is Chicken Pot Pie. This year it's with black truffles. His recipe is featured on ABC News Good Morning America's website. It really is about tweaking peasant food and making it high-end gourmet, the ultimate comfort food. 
You can almost smell it and taste it
When I was growing up my mother often served us store bought frozen beef, chicken, or turkey pot pies and we loved them. The smell coming from the oven while they were cooking was hypnotic.
I like my chicken baked
It wasn't until later in life that we learned what a real homemade pot pie tasted like. Not only is it easy to make, it's also economical and the perfect solution to a cold winters night. You'll never go back to the cheap store bought pot pie again. 
Cover with foil... We're not looking for crispy here
If you don't have ramekins you can always make your pot pie in a pie pan. To do it right and invest in the affordable ramekins. You now have another decision to make. Do you want a pie crust of puff pastry? The puff pastry looks great, or you can pipe buttery seasoned mashed potatoes over the top like a shepherd's pie. 
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. You bake bone in, skin on chicken breast, dot with butter, 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pan, 20 minutes at 350°F. remove the foil and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 180°F.
While the chicken is cooking bring 4 red or Yukon gold potatoes in a pot of water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until still slightly firm but tender. Drain the hot water and rinse in cold water until cool. Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes.
Remove the skin and bones
Cut up chicken and set to the side
This could be the start of something good
Set the chicken roasting pan to the side and allow to cool. Begin preparing your vegetables. If using frozen pearl onions (I like both) par cook them according to the package directions.
Cook carrots until slightly firm but tender
Saute onions in butter until tender
Drain and add cooked carrots to onions
The liquid from the chicken, onions and the carrots should be reserved for use when making the sauce for the pot pies. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, add the onion liquid and whisk in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour until you begin to form a roux. 
Butter, onion, carrot, and flour roux
Add more flour or liquid as needed. Cook the roux 1-2 minutes to remove the flour taste. Slowly add some of the carrot broth, or chicken stock if you like.     
Add cream or milk as needed
Add in the reserved chicken, potatoes, pearl onions if using them. Slowly add cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Season to your taste. 
Allow your puff pastry to thaw slightly according to package directions. Prepare your ramekins by lightly buttering them with a pastry brush inside and around the top 1/4" outside. Pour the filling into each ramekin until almost full. Lay a piece of puff pastry dough over the top and upper sides of each ramekin. 
Cut vent slits in puff pastry dough. Brush with egg wash
Let rest 5 minutes and serve... It's very hot
I'm sure that Wolfgang Puck's pot pies are amazing and someday I'll make one or get to try it at one of his restaurants. Until then I will have to amuse myself in our kitchen. 
Maybe you prefer something a little more decadent than chicken. How about lobster or king crab instead? 
© TMelle 2014

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Followed tour recipe and and made the best CPP ever.