Since the rain continued through out the day, I stayed on the yummy warm comfort food path. I made individual Chicken Pot Pies, a big favorite in my house. I use the pastry dough from Trader Joe’s, it saves on time, but I always make my own chicken stock. There is nothing like homemade stock. Take the time to whip up a big pot and freeze it for future use, you’ll be glad its there. I’ll post my method for chicken stock next.
These are great to freeze for lunches. I’ve even froze a bunch, packed them in my suitcase and flew to Seattle, they arrived cold and ready for the oven. They’ve been a big hit for dinner parties as well.
Be sure to gather good veggies for this recipe, celery that’s bright green and has that salty crisp to it. Fresh herbs and sweet young carrots. As for the chicken breast, you can use already cooked chicken from the store, but it’s so easy to cook up your own.
I take the chicken breast and pound them out really thin in a zip lock bag, then season with ground white pepper and mineral salt. These will cook very quickly in a saute pan with very little oil. They come out super moist and delicious. Tear them up in whatever size pieces you want, don’t chop it, it looks too commercial chopped. Really, you can do whatever you want, I’m just saying.
Photo note: The first picture was from a previous cooking session, I just liked how the pastry came out on these.The remaining pictures were taken at night and appear a bit blurry. Bare with me, I’m working out my lighting issues. All these were taken with my iphone.
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped potatoes, blanched in boiling salted water- optional
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 2 cups torn up cooked chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups fresh homemade hot chicken stock
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen pastry, thawed
- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Ready a sheet pan with 6 (10-ounce) ramekins.
In a large mixing bowl gently combine the carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, herbs and parsley, add the torn up chicken breast meat and set aside.
Gravy time, don’t be scared, it’s easy, just don’t leave the pan and stir stir stir. In a large sauté pan melt the butter, add flour and stir into a paste and cooked until browned. Slowly add the hot chicken stock 1 cup at a time with a whisk until mixture becomes thick and gravy like, salt and pepper to taste. Add gravy to veggie chicken mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Place a puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, and roll out slightly. Cut the pastry into 6 rounds to fit the bottom of the ramekins.
Place each one in the bottom of the ramekin and bake the bottoms for 10-15 minutes or until browned nicely. Cut the remaining pastry into 6 rounds to fit the top of the ramekins, set aside in fridge on a baking sheet.
Fill each ramekin with the veggie chicken mixture.
Place chilling uncooked pastry atop each pie, brush with egg wash and slice a few half inch vents in the pastry tops.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
Serve with Cole Slaw on the side.
Let’s make Scones.
It was rainy when I woke up this morning, which always makes me want to bake. The smell of fresh baked scones wakes up the sleeping husband who would other wise sleep until noon if I ever allowed that, J/K.
Scones are easy and so delicious on a chilly morning. I have some beautiful big dried strawberries I got on our NYE trip to Seattle, these will join the scones and make for a yummy sweet nibble in the flaky goodness. First off if you know you’re going to makes scones the night before freeze some butter, I always keep butter in the freezer, you’ll see why soon.
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 3/4 cup frozen unsalted butter, grated like cheese.
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/2 cup small-diced dried strawberries
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt & orange zest.
Grate in the frozen butter with a cheese grater and add to the other dry ingredients. This is a great trick for using butter in pie crusts too. My amazing friend Debbie hooked me up with this very cool idea and I always keep butter frozen just for this purpose.
Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of flour, add them to the dough, and mix quickly. The dough may be a bit sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick in a round. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut the dough like a pie and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat.
Brush the tops with egg wash.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked. This recipe makes 12 Scones. Enjoy !