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A Lazy Day of Leftovers – Chicken Tarragon Pot Pie

If you are like me, there are probably many nights during the week where you make a meal and then end up with a bunch of different leftovers that you may or may not know how to use. It is not unusual to get tired of having the same meal two or three times a week just because you do not want to throw away perfectly good food but are not sure what you can do with those leftover chicken pieces or leftover vegetables. It is times like this where potpie can come to the rescue. Potpie is a great meal to put together just about any time of the year and you can do it with any type of protein (or no protein at all if you are vegetarian) and vegetables. The only real effort that goes into it is making the pie dough and even then, if you have no problem using store-bought pie dough you can get the meal together even quicker. Very often I will use store-bought pie dough simply because it is easy, I do not really have the room to make pie dough and for potpie purposes it tastes just fine. I decided to use this recipe from New York Times Cooking for a chicken-tarragon potpie and make a simple dinner.

Chicken-Tarragon Pot Pie

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unnsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon cold vegetable shortening

Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

Scant 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

For the Filling:

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup thinly sliced leeks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1 cup frozen baby green peas

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cups leftover roast chicken, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

To make the crust, combine the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together just until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is broken into small pieces. Pour 1/3 cup of ice water into the machine, and pulse 3 or 4 times. Squeeze a little dough in your hand to see whether it clumps together and is evenly moist. If not, add another tablespoon of water, and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Don’t overmix so that the dough forms a ball.

Turn out the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lift the ends of the plastic to gather the dough together inside. Press the dough into a large disk, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until you are ready to use it, up to 2 days.

To make the filling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, leeks and tarragon, and cook, stirring, just until slightly softened but not browned (reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning), about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and place it back on the stove.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt it over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and smells cooked. Do not let it brown. Whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth, and cook, whisking, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, just until the mixture is thickened. Add the salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in the remaining broth.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the cooked vegetables and peas, the chicken and the sauce to an 8-inch deep pie dish or other baking dish, mix the ingredients gently, and taste for seasoning.

If you are using store-bought dough, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are using your own homemade dough, flour a work surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough, turning and flouring often, and cut a shape approximately the size of your baking dish plus 1 1/2 inches overlap all around.

Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, and unroll it over the baking dish, so it rests evenly on top of the filling. Fold the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the tip of a knife through the crust to create 3 vent holes near the center. Whisk the egg with a teaspoon of cold water. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the entire crust with egg wash. Place the pie pan or baking dish on a cookie sheet, and place it in the oven.

Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents. Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make use of any type of vegetables you want in a pot pie. I used the vegetables recommended but I also had some leftover broccoli that I put in as well. Pot pie works well with chicken, turkey, beef and pork that you may have leftover so you can make just about anything with it. I find pot pie tastes even better the next day and often have any leftovers for lunch, after the sauce and the flavors have had even more time to come together. It can be a great dinner to put together in under an hour.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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A One Skillet Fall Favorite – Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

I had made quite a bit of chicken early in the week and needed to come up with something else to make with it this week so it didn’t go to waste. One of my favorite standby dishes that is a great way to use some leftovers is to make some type of pot pie. you can pretty much put anything in a pot pie and have any type of protein or just vegetables and some type of gravy on the inside and then top it off with some type of crust to make your pie. I had seen this recipe on Bon Appetit’s website recently that makes the whole pie in a cast iron skillet and makes use of a couple of different vegetables in a pot pie that I haven’t tried before – butternut squash and kale. Now we are not big kale eaters in my house – I don’t really care for the bitterness of it and I would much rather have spinach, which I happened to have on hand, so instead of going out to buy kale, I substituted spinach instead.

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup frozen white pearl onions, thawed

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 small bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 rotisserie chicken, meat torn into bite-size pieces, or 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, torn into pieces

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the pearl onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and the sage to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and season it with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the kale often, until the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.

Stir in the chicken broth a 1/2-cupful at a time, then add the butternut squash. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is just softened and the broth is thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, stir and season with salt and pepper.

Unfold the puff pastry and smooth any creases. Place the puff pastry over the skillet, allowing the corners to hang over the sides of the skillet. Whisk the egg and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and cut four 1-inch slits on the top of the pastry to vent it.

Bake the pot pie until the pastry is beginning to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake the pot pie until the pastry is a deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let the pot pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This is a great one pot dish that gets done in under an hour and uses your leftovers really well. I enjoyed the addition of the spinach and the squash instead of having just carrots and potatoes in the mix. I also added some peas to the mix that I had and I ended up using regular pie crust instead of puff pastry, mainly because I did not have any puff pastry on hand that night. I think the puff pastry would be perfect since it is lighter and flakier, but the pie crust did the job nicely. This is definitely an easy one that you want to make use of again and would be just as good with beef as it is with chicken.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Poultry

 

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Comfort Food For Fall Weeknights – Chicken Pot Pie

We all love the classic comfort food dishes but sometimes we just don’t have the time to put in to make them during the week. Who wouldn’t love a nice pot roast dinner on a weeknight? Unfortunately, few of us have the time to pull that off unless you want to give it a try in the slow cooker. I did come across a great comfort food recipe from Williams-Sonoma the other day that you can make even easier by making use of some leftovers or store-bought items. This recipe for chicken pot pie has you making your own crust. If you don’t have time to do it, you can always use a store-bought crust to do that and save yourself even more time.

Chicken Pot Pie

For the Pie Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Salt

6 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons cold butter

About 1/3 cup cold water

For the Filling:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 cup corn kernels (from 2-3 ears)

2 tablespoons butter

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

2 tablespoons chopped shallot

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup half-and-half

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

To make the dough, stir together the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter until a coarse meal starts to form. Toss with a fork while adding enough water for the dough to clump together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and peas and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a colander and drain, then transfer them to a bowl. Repeat the process with the corn, cooking it for 1 minute.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Stir in the broth, wine, half-and-half and parsley and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, peas and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie plate.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick and large enough to fit over the pie plate. Brush some of the egg yolk mixture in a 1-inch border around the edge of the round. Place the round, egg side down, over the filling, and press the dough to the rim of the dish. Crimp or trim any overhanging dough and brush the surface lightly with the remaining egg yolk mixture. Cut a few slits in the center of the top of the pie to vent the steam.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Just a few notes about this recipe. You can always use store-bough pie dough for this to save you time. I keep a package of pie dough on hand regularly in case I want to make a quick pie or something like this. You can also use frozen or leftover vegetables in this dish and vary things up, using whatever vegetables you have on hand. I put some green beans in with mine. As for the chicken, if you have leftover cooked chicken already you can save yourself another step and just heat it through in the skillet before adding the flour. You can use a rotisserie chicken instead if you have one of those as well. The meat from the chicken thighs is great for this because it is flavorful and tender, but use what you have to make things easier for you. Sean really liked this recipe and had 3 plates of it for dinner that night. The gravy created for the chicken and vegetables has really good flavor to it. By the way, I omitted the wine (I usually do in recipes) and used extra chicken broth instead and it turned out just fine.The leftovers were great for lunches too.

That’s it for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. I still have a roast beef recipe to try, Another Oktoberfest recipe using sausages, and I picked up a turkey breast the other day so I need to do something with that as well. Check back and see what comes along. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Poultry

 

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