Chicken Potpie

September 18, 2009

Chicken potpie is definitely a fall dish. As the leaves start to show some color and the air grows cooler, I’m definitely in the mood to make warm comfort foods like this. Martha’s got a whole section on comfort foods in October Martha Stewart Everyday Food.

Carrots and onions

Carrots and onions

The chicken potpie recipe is pretty easy and almost identical to the way I usually make it. Martha says to start with cooked chicken, but I needed to poach some breasts. Once that was done, I cooked onion and carrot (next time I would slice the carrot thinner or parboil it – it was a little crunchy in the final product). Make a roux, add chicken stock and cook till it thickens. I added more flour than the recipe calls for because I like to have a very thick gravy. Then add in the chicken, add seasoning (the recipe calls for thyme, but I also added rosemary).

Roux

Roux

This recipe makes individual potpies, which is a good idea. Potpie always looks so cute but then you go to serve it and it runs all over the plate. Making individual bowls worked out well. You top your potpie with puff pastry (sometimes I make a pie crust and add cheddar cheese to it).

The most annoying part of this recipe was the refrigerating steps. You’re

Filling

Filling

supposed to make the filling, then refrigerate it. Then you’re supposed to cut up the puff pastry, assemble it and refrigerate again. It just adds in so much time to do these steps.

I made this on a crazy week night when I was running in and out of the house driving kids around. I made the filling in the afternoon and then put the lids on at one stop back at the house and refrigerated them while I was gone and baked them when I got back. I forgot to brush the tops with egg, but they still turned out nicely I think.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Everyone ate this, which was amazing. It tasted good, but was so identical to the way I normally make this that no one was wowed by it.

This recipe says it serves 4, but I filled these 4 generous sized bowls and had a lot left over. I could easily have fed one or two more people. I froze the extra and will break it out some night when it’s just Mr. MarthaandMe and me for dinner.

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A Real Turkey

June 21, 2009

turk breast

The header is not a comment on all the dads out there! Happy Father’s Day! Today we’re celebrating with my dad. I went totally Martha and printed a bunch of old photos (one is of my mom and dad before they were married – Mom is in shorts and knee socks, Dad is holding a cigarette and they are standing in front of my mom’s convertible!) and framed them for him for a photo wall he is creating. On to the blog—

Since I’ve committed to cooking much less red meat, we’ve been eating lots of chicken and fish. And I do get a little tired of it. So, the idea of grilling a turkey breast sounded like a nice change. Brined Slow-Cooked Turkey Breast (Martha Stewart Everyday Food, July) was a weeknight meal for us. I bought half of a turkey breast. The recipe says to brine it for 6-8 hours in salt, brown sugar and water. I ended up getting this in the brine the night before and I’m afraid it ended up being too long of a brine, but there was just no way I could find time to brine in the morning craziness that happens here.

The recipe says to grill the turkey over indirect heat. We have a gas grill, so this meant turning only one burner on and putting the turkey on the other half of the grill. It took my half turkey breast about an hour and 10 minutes to cook.

It turned out nicely browned. Unfortunately though, this was so tough we almost could not eat it. I suspect the fact that I brined it for about 20 hours may have been the problem. When I made this, I anticipated there being leftovers I could make sandwiches with the next day, but this was so tough, I had to throw it out. As for flavor, it tasted ok. It wasn’t anything to stand up and shout about. In general I find turkey to be pretty bland and just plain by itself it’s never anything great. It needs seasonings or a gravy or a sauce to make it good. This was a total bust. And it definitely was not worth an entire hour of propane!

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