Monday, November 16, 2009

potpie to win friends and influence people

I learned something very important last week. If you want your friends to lavish you with compliments, have strangers approach you with lust in their eyes, or make people swoon with pleasure, all you need to do is learn how to make chicken potpie. Well, I'm being a little need to learn how to make Casey's chicken potpie, which she made for me and Courtney last week.

The three of us have a nice little thing going where we meet up for a potluck dinner after work. Courtney hosts us at her apartment, provides wine, does the dishes, and does not have to cook. And Casey and I each bring a course or two for all of us to share. We all end up spending less than a decent dinner out, and no one has to cook a full meal. It's a win-win-win.

There is also this ridiculously cute fellow, who sweetens the deal.

So last week, Casey volunteered to bring the potpie, and I contributed a salad and dessert. I have to admit, chicken potpie is not my favorite dish in the world, or so I thought. I've had a few too many with thick, gluey filling, or a bad chicken-to-veggie ratio, or crusts that were either too thin or too thick. Thanks to Casey's version, I am now a believer.

After removing the pie from a cake carrier and warming it in the oven, Casey cut it into quarters, and dished out huge wedges. I eyed my plate skeptically, thinking, I can't finish this whole thing! I just bought some new jeans at Uniqlo and they were already kind of snug. Annnd...about 15 minutes later, my plate was clean. The crust (double, of course) was perfectly buttery, flaky, and golden. Inside, a generous amount of vegetables and shredded chicken, bound together by a sauce that was neither thick nor gluey. Potpie perfection.

We managed to have enough restraint not to polish off the last quarter of the pie, so Casey put it back in the carrier to take home. Later that night, while chatting on the subway, we noticed a man sitting across from us who was staring at the carrier like a dog looking up at the dinner table. "That looks SO good. What is it?" he asked. "Chicken potpie," Casey said. "Did you make it?" he asked. "Yes, I did," Casey said, looking slightly embarrassed. The guy would not take his eyes off the carrier. "Uh, do you want the last piece?" she asked. He laughed and shook his head no, but asked where he could find the recipe. As I jumped up to get off at my stop, another man, who seemed to materialize out of nowhere, made a beeline for the pie carrier. I left Casey with her admirers, making her promise to send me the recipe.

Monday night dinner
Casey's chicken potpie
Mixed greens and herbs
Gingerbread with lemon icing

Casey’s chicken pot pie

Casey says: Please note that all vegetable quantities are approximate guidelines; the more you make it, the easier you’ll be able to eyeball the amounts that you prefer and sub in any other veg you want — steamed potato chunks, green beans, whatever works. This is more of a veggie pot pie than a chicken one in the end, which is how I like it!
(Makes 1 12-inch pie)

1 recipe homemade pie crust (enough for a top and bottom crust)
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 ears corn, kernels sliced off the cob, or 1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
chicken or vegetable stock
heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (if I don’t have leftover chicken in my freezer that I can thaw, I’ll just bake a chicken breast in the oven while I’m assembling the other ingredients)

Roll out your first round of pie crust, place in your standard pie pan, and reserve in the fridge. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large saute pan with high sides or a dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and carrots and continue to cook until tender, 5 minutes more. Stir in the corn and peas, then add enough stock just to cover the veg and simmer until the liquid reduces at least by half. It will look more like vegetables in a very loose sauce than soup at this point.

Add a splash of cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and reduce a bit more if it’s still looking too soupy. Finally, stir in the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and the chicken and remove from the heat.

Roll out the second pie crust and reserve while you place your chilled pie pan onto a baking sheet and dump the filling in. Place the pie crust lid on top, cut 4 slits in the top of the lid so your pie can vent, and cut/crimp the sides to seal.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling out of the vents. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving; I know, the wait will nearly kill you because the pie will look so tempting, but all you’re going to get is molten ooze unless you have patience.


Unknown said...

I never liked the goopy inside of the typical potpie either. I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

p.s. that pooch is the cutest.

Paulita said...

sounds delish! I have been looking for a recipe...but I will tell you..I am just scared to death of making a pie crust..I really need to get over that since the possibilities are endless....

Beth said...

ooh, i love a good chicken pot pie, but haven't been brave enough to try making one. if i do, this will be it. they're so buttery and good when done right.

Lisa said...

Nikkilooch: Isn't he the cutest! If you tryt he potpie, let me know how it goes...I think you'll like this one.

Mme P: Oh, me too. Casey totally helped me get over my fears with her recipe. It's really not that scary once you've tried it.

Beth: Me too! I am going to give this one a try, maybe post-Thanksgiving when I have some leftover turkey.

Judy said...

This sounds wonderful and very ambitious. Lately I've been making pot pie with puff pastry dough from the supermarket. It's delicious and it's an easy workday supper.

Casey@Good. Food. Stories. said...

Bwah ha ha! I will be on the corner of 14th and University with my potpie and business cards all week. You can bring the gingerbread!

Unknown said...

Never thought about using potpie to win friends. No wonder I've been striking out the past few years. Can't wait to try the potpie. Cute dog.

Lisa said...

Casey: Seriously! It was like a magnet.

Tender Branson: Yes, potpie = friends. I never knew this, but it seems to be true.

Dan said...

I wasn't such a big fan of potpie either, until I had Casey's. I guess I'd never had a good one before hers. And it holds up so well as leftovers, too.

Daniel said...

Has KC the spaniel's dominance over this blog come to an end? Long live Handsome???

Lisa said...

Dan: It really is the best. So is Casey.

Daniel: Don't worry, KC will make some more appearances around Thanksgiving. Although I can't seem to get enough Handsome!


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