Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Leftover Pie to welcome in 2011

Christmas week has been crazy, fun, busy, culinarly challenging and wondering what a good way to start the new year would be.

Enter the leftovers from 'the baked chicken in a pot' that I made in one of my new dutch ovens. I got two, one blue, oval from Ikea and one red, round made by Tramontina. I'm delighted by both. Tonight it was the blue oval's turn and yes, I'm going to give them turns!

I'll do a play by play of the baked chicken another time. It was delicious, easy in terms of effort and it fell off the bone while still being moist. Yes, it was yummy.

Ok, tonights food. When you look in the fridge and find one onion, one carrot, one stalk of celery, a small container of leftover boiled carrots and a sad chicken carcass, inspiration abounds! (for me anyway, I like the thrill of the challenge, can I turn THIS into food?) Let's begin:

Chicken Leftover Pie

2 cups cooked chicken or as much as you have
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
salt, pepper, thyme, poultry seasoning
handful of frozen peas if you have them
any leftover cooked vegetables you happen to have
flour for dusting
single crust pie dough
egg mixed with water for brushing crust

I fried a little bacon in the pot, chopped the onion, carrot and celery and tossed it in to fry up. Yes, it's smelling pretty delicious in the house by this point.

When the vegetables are soft, I sprinkled a little flour and fried that up for a bit then added a few glugs of milk. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and tyme are mandatory at this point, so are a few scrapes of nutmeg. I brought it all to the boil and added milk until it was the thickness I liked.

OH and before anyone has anything to say, I had leftover carrots in the fridge and I really love carrots, hence the carrot heavy pictures ;)

Add the chopped up chicken bits, there wasn't much as you can see and let it all simmer for a bit. If the level gets too low, add some water or more milk. I gave it about 30 mins of simmering because I was doing other things in the kitchen anyway.

When you taste it and think it delicious, strain it!! Strain the mixture into a smaller pot which I will merely reheat and serve with dinner. Dump the strained mixture into a deep pie dish.

I rolled out some pastry, either bought or homemade, to cover the filling. Don't cut or futz, just shush any left around the edges down beside the filling, everyone fights over those its anyway. Egg wash it and sprinkle and little coarse salt on it, trust me, it adds a little something no one can quite figure out and your pastry, pie, dishes will always be better than everyone else's. Homemade OR store bought!

Shove it in a 400 degree oven and lower the temp to 375. Bake it until it's gorgeous, brown and bubbly. The filling is cooked and hot so 30-40 minutes ought to do it!!

I'm going to let it rest a few minutes while I reheat some mashed potatoes I found in the fridge and I might crisp up some bread I made, yes, I think this will be rather delicious. It also cost about, um, nothing!

Yeah, Ok, that was crazy good... straining it makes all the difference, a firm pie but loads of sauce to add. A hit with the boys too!

/enjoy and Happy New Year!

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