Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie 2

See the sauce bubbling out the side?  That’s what you are looking for.  Crust is golden, now just try and wait while it sets up a bit …. no judgement if you can’t!  I promise it is delicious.

Fall ….. it just makes me want to bake, and roast, and toast.  This chicken pot pie recipe is a staple around here.  You can make it as easy as “pie” by purchasing pre-made pastry shells or make your own – either way, this pie is flaky, tender and bursting with bites of chicken and vegetable goodness.  Serve with a tossed salad and dinner is ready.

Preheat oven to 400

  • 2 pastry shells
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (use leftovers or a rotisserie chicken for simplicity)
  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • diced vegetables – your choice and about 2 cups worth of:
  • sweet peppers
  • celery
  • carrots
  • peas (not in my house, neither of us like cooked peas)
  • zucchini
  • corn
  • green beans
  • a generous handful of herbs, I like thyme, basil, oregano and parsley
  • salt and pepper

Brush one pie shell with beaten egg white, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, just until starting to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

pie shell

I find if you pre-bake the bottom crust, brushed with beaten egg white, the pastry stays flaky.  Sprinkle a little sea salt on for that extra bit of crunch.  I think you can see here that my bottom crust was in the freezer, thank you Tenderflake pastry!

In saucepan heat olive oil, then stir in onion.  Stir until just translucent and add in the garlic clove.  If celery is one of your chosen vegetables, add it now too.  Allow to saute for a few minutes until just starting to become tender.  Add the flour and create a thick paste, letting the flour cook for a minute in order to remove that “floury” taste.  Gradually stir in the chicken stock, just a bit at a time until it is all incorporated and your sauce is starting to thicken.  Stir in the rest of your vegetables, taste and season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Pour the chicken & vegetable mixture into the prebaked pie shell, and cover with the 2nd pastry shell.  If you’ve purchased pre made pastry, just squish and squiggle it around a bit and play with the edges, nobody will ever know you didn’t make it!

chicken pot pie

The top crust was a pastry shell I had in the freezer, probably leftover from an apple pie day!

TIP:  If you are vegetarian, or just feel like a vegetarian meal, this is so easy to do!  Just omit the chicken and use a LOT more veg.  Instead of chicken stock use a vegetable stock.  Your results will be ever so delicious …. you’re welcome!

Sprinkle the top with a bit more salt and pepper, some Italian herbs and either paprika or a bit of dried roasted red pepper.  (yes, we do our own dried seasonings with the surplus of vegetables in the field)

Put the whole pie in the oven (I’ve learned to have a foil dripping sheet below it…..) and cook for 15 minutes at 400, then lower the oven to 350 and cook for about 40-50 minutes, until you see the sauce bubbling out the side and the pie looks golden brown.

If your pie is looking golden brown, but not yet bubbling out the sides, loosely lay a sheet of tin foil over the pie until you see that bubbling action.

Make sure you let it sit for 15-20 minutes after it comes out of the oven, that allows it to set a bit.  Not that it tastes any less wonderful if it is running all over your plate ……..

chicken pot pie 3

See what I mean?  We couldn’t wait the 15 minutes, but it was delicious.  By the time we came back for seconds it had set up and made nice even slices.  Amazing either way!

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

The perfect way to celebrate the arrival of summer weather is when the rhubarb is ripe at the same time as strawberries!  Take the tartness of rhubarb with the sweetness of the strawberry and you have a winning combination.

Galette 1

I used my flaky pastry recipe (with egg and vinegar) to create this one … and in case you are wondering what the threads of lighter colour are …. I had a soft apple in the fridge so it got added to the pie.  Delicious!

Have you ever made a galette?  It’s really just a fancy name for a very easy, lazy way of making a pie.  If you aren’t a fan of making your own pastry dough, then just buy a frozen pre made pie crust, tip it out of the tin pie plate and carry on …. if you roll over the edges to take away that little crimped evidence of a premade shell you don’t even have to admit this to anyone!

Preheat oven to 400.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured surface roll out your pastry to about 1/8″ thickness.  Place on baking sheet (it will hang over the edge).  Put this in the fridge for about 10 minutes while you prep the fruit.

  • 1 pint strawberries, thickly sliced
  • 1 pound very refresh rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2″ thickness (or frozen sliced rhubarb)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar, to taste
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste

To finish you will need:

  • butter
  • milk
  • raw sugar

In a large bowl toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar, flour, lemon juice and vanilla.  Spread on the prepared pastry to within 2″ of the edge.  Fold the edges, pleating at about 2″ intervals.  BE REALLY CAREFUL HERE ….. warning is from experience.  If you don’t carefully create these pleats, (sealing as you go) enough to hold the fruit there will be a breakout, and that mess is not pretty!  

Galette 2

Brush the edges of the pastry with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Dot the filling with butter.  Bake the galette in the centre of the oven for 1 hot, or until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.  Allow to cool before cutting.

Galette

THIS is what happened when I didn’t seal the edges of my pleats together …. really, you should have seen me trying to get the half baked effort off the sheet pan and into something that would hold the juices better, BEFORE it all ran away.  Still tasted delicious, just somewhat messier, but a galette is meant to be free form anyway, right???

 

NOTE – If you are using fresh rhubarb, remember that the leaves are toxic!  Be sure to trim them to remove any leaf.

Raspberry Peach Pecan Galette

This recipe works really well with any berry or fruit – the pecans give the pie crust a rich, nutty, crunchy texture and flavour. Really – what is a galette? An easy way to make a pie!

Ready for the oven, this raspberry peach galette looks delicious already.

Ready for the oven, this raspberry peach galette looks delicious already.

DOUGH
1/2 cup pecans (toasted)
1 cup plus 2 TBSP flour
2 tsp raw sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter (in small pieces)

FILLING
2 cups raspberries
1 peach
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus a bit more to sprinkle on crust
2 tbsp milk or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375

Once your pecans have been toasted, and cooled – pulse in food processor until they are a coarse crumble. Add flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pulse just until combined. Add butter pieces and pulse just until mixture looks like a coarse crumble – a few pea sized bits are great. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and drizzle in 4 tbsp ice water and mix. If necessary add another tablespoon of water just until it comes together. Gently pat the dough into a circle, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in fridge for at least 1 hour. (it will keep in the fridge for 2 days or you can freeze it for a month)

Toss raspberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in bowl.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″ round. Carefully put on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Mound fruit mixture into centre of dough, leaving about 2″ around the edge. Fold edges over, overlapping slightly.

Brush dough with milk or cream and sprinkle raw sugar over.

Peel, and slice peach – in the center opening, arrange peach slices.

Bake until crust is dark golden brown and filling is bubbling – at least 45 minutes.

Fruit bubbling and oozing, crust golden brown ….. difficult to wait for it to cool before slicing!

Fruit bubbling and oozing, crust golden brown ….. difficult to wait for it to cool before slicing!

Allow to cool before slicing.

Peaches and raspberries were ripe and ready at the same time this year, so I served this with a yummy peach bursting sorbet …..

FullSizeRender-5

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

This Boston Cream Pie is much easier to make than many desserts, and will quickly be a family favourite.

CAKE

Preheat oven to 350                       

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

(I have listed these ingredients in random order to show you just how simple this cake is – throw everything in a bowl and mix!)  It will quickly become your “go to” cake any time you need a simple white cake.

Mix well with hand beater at low speed until mixed, then high speed for 2 minutes.  Pour into greased and floured 9″ round cake pan.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, check with cake tester.  Cake should be just baked enough to be pulling away slightly from the sides of the baking pan, and tester should come out clean.  Let rest for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

CREAMY CUSTARD FILLING 

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

In heavy saucepan, whisk all ingredients until incorporated very well then cook over medium-low heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 20 minutes.  Boil 1 minute stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla.

I have also done this part in the microwave – stir every 2 minutes until mixture has thickened well.  Make sure you use a large bowl as the mixture will raise and lower several times while it cooks.

Cover right on the surface of the pudding with saran until cool, but not set, about 30 minutes.

CHOCOLATE ICING

  • 2 squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter.  Remove saucepan from heat.  With wire whisk beat in 1/2 cup icing sugar and 2-3 tbsp milk until smooth and easy spreading consistency.

ASSEMBLY

With serrated knife, cut cake horizontally in half to form 2 equal layers.  Place 1 cake layer on cake platter, spread evenly with the cooled custard.  Top with 2nd cake layer, pressing down gently but firmly.  Cover top of cake with chocolate icing.  Try to spread chocolate cover to the edges so it drips down over the sides.  Refrigerate until serving time.

This cake is so versatile.  If you have a large crowd, double the recipe and make it 4 layers high!  So impressive looking – for extra flair, save some of the custard and spread it around the outside of the cake, then press in sliced toasted almonds.  You can also make one cake with chocolate  (add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to cake batter or use your own favorite chocolate cake) and add your toasted almonds to the top.