Chicken Pot Pie

It’s now early autumn and raining constantly. I wanted to make something comforting and effortless. So I figured a chicken pot pie would do the trick. Finding a decent recipe was pretty simple, since the last time I had homemade chicken pot pie it was terrible. Sorry dad, but it was dry and salty. Spotting Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie episode it seemed pretty easy to make. With a few adjustments to suit my needs and such. I will also be showing you how to freeze this delicious chicken pot pies. Found the idea from The Kitchen. The containers that I will used are the Hefty 3ct EZ Foil Mini Loaf Pans.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock/broth
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes (I used the powder version, 2 tsp.)
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 stick (I added 1/2 stick as well)
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups carrots, diced, blanched for 5 minutes
  • 2-3 russet potatoes, diced, blanched for 10 minutes (I used red, but found it staying to firm when done baking)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced, blanched for 5 minutes
  • 2 cups frozen peas, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten

Step 1: Preheat the over to 350°F.

Step 2: Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub the olive oil over them.

Step 3: Sprinkle generously with the salt and ground pepper.

Step 4: Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Step 5: Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Step 6: Cut the chicken breasts into large dices, about 4-6 cups.

Step 7: In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock.

Step 8: Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock and simmer over low heat.

Step 9: In a large pot, melt the butter.

Step 10: Saute the onions over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Step 11: Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Step 12: Add in the hot chicken stock to the sauce.

Step 13: Simmer over low heat for 1 minute until it thickens.

Step 14: Add in 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground pepper, heavy cream, carrots, celery, potatoes, herbs, and cooked chicken. Mix well and remove from heat.

Step 15: Preheat the over to 375°F.

Step 16: Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.

Step 17: Using foil containers to gauge size, cut pastry into rectangles, leaving enough space to fold over edges of containers, about 1/2-inch.

Step 18: Fill foil containers with chicken and vegetable mixture, all the way to the top. (Remove the bay leaf)

Step 19: Brush sides and edges of foil containers with egg-wash.

Step 20: Place pastry over foil containers and press edges so the egg mixture holds them against the sides. (If freezing, stop here, cover pies with foil and place in freezer. Start at step 21 when you take them out of the freezer.)

Step 21: Brush tops of pot pies with egg and cut several slits to allow steam to escape.

Step 22: Sprinkle tops with sea salt. (Optional)

Step 23: Place pies on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. (I recommend the full hour because of the potatoes)

Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant)

I’ve always wanted to make Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant) ever since I had it once in the Indian restaurant a few months ago. So I looked long and hard for a recipe that could emulate the flavors.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 medium tomatoes (using Roma)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I will be using red and yellow)
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded (I will be using green bell pepper and adding some chili sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Rub oil on the outside of the eggplant, or coat with cooking spray.

Step 3: Place under the broiler, and cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is blistering off, about 20-30 minutes. (Turn as needed for even cooking.)

Step 4: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Discard the skin; chop up the flesh and set aside.

or

Step 1: Cook the whole eggplant (put it on a microwave safe dish) in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes until it is tender. If you are using an oven, preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and bake it for about 45 minutes turning the sides every fifteen minutes. Be sure to first put the eggplant in an oven safe shallow bowl or a cookie sheet.

Step 2: Let it cool and scoop out the flesh, then chop the eggplant in small pieces and keep aside.

Step 3: Blend together the tomatoes, ginger and green chili; set aside.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Step 5: Add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until tender, or until golden brown.

Step 6: Add the cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds and turn golden brown. (Be careful not to burn them.) *you may want to heat a bit more oil in the pan before doing this.

Step 7: Stir in the tomato and peas, and season with turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the tomato puree has begun to separate from the oil.

Step 8: Add eggplant over medium heat, keep stirring the eggplant and mashing the eggplant as it cooks; 8-10 minutes.

Step 9: Add the garam masala and cilantro.

Step 10: Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with a side of naan. (Side note: It taste best the next day.)

Luncheon with Some Friends

As I finished with my last exam for the week I felt the need to wind down from the hustle and bustle of life. So I decided to have a luncheon with some friends. Since we were getting together in the middle of the afternoon, I couldn’t call it lunch nor was it close enough to be called dinner. At one point I was thinking of calling it Afternoon Tea, but none of the others drank tea. So luncheon was it.

Menu:

Pasta with Garlic Lemon Cream Sauce

I randomly bought some heavy cream thinking I would make some whipped cream for a cake I had just made. But by the time I got around to making the whipped cream the cake had already been devoured by people. So with that gone I had to figure out what to do with a carton full of heavy cream and that’s when I saw something about cream sauces for pasta. Since I’m not a big fan of cream sauce I had my doubts about making this dish, but I figured ‘why not?’ That and I had an extra lemon to use before it went bad soon.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 lb of pasta (spaghetti for this)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much garlic you want, I love garlic so I added 3)
  • zest of 1 lemon (mince the zest to get more oils out)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (using heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Step 1: In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter

Step 2: Add the minced garlic and lemon zest, cook until fragrant

Step 3: Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Step 4: Cook this until it’s heated through. Set aside until the pasta is cooked

Step 5: Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente (10-11 minutes)

Step 6: Reheat the sauce and adding half of the Parmesan and lemon juice (do this when pasta has 4 minutes left to boil)

Step 7: Adjust the seasonings

Step 8: Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce

Step 9: Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and serve hot

myTaste.com