Recipe of the Month – More Butter Y’all
It’s that time of year isn’t it? Where we feel bombarded by food and drink and leftovers seem to abound; and although Adam and I happen to be those people who do like leftovers, there are times when you can only eat the same thing over and over for so long. But because we had steaks and a 21 pound turkey on Thanksgiving, let’s just say we had quite a bit of meat leftover.
Now one of my favorite Post-Thanksgiving or Christmas traditions are fresh turkey sandwiches made from the leftovers. I love them with a bit of cranberry sauce or even spiced up with other flavors…the possibilities are endless. Still, after a weeks worth of sandwiches and still a ton of turkey left, we were starting to get a little sick of the monotony. So what a better way to add some excitement into the mix than to find some new recipes that we could use the turkey for.
After a huge heavy meal like Thanksgiving, I really should be trying to find a recipe for some type of salad, but not this time…I knew exactly what I wanted to do with that turkey…POT PIE! I must admit that I’m not a typical pot pie lover, largely because I have always thought of them as being overly bad for you and steered clear. However, as I have gotten older, I have begun to realize that life is too short and we need a little rich food in our lives once in awhile. And who better to go to when it comes to rich food than Paula Deen. I mean the woman loves her some comfort food! ;) And since I have yet to try making any recipe of hers, I thought I would see what she had to offer in the pot pie department. Well lucky for me the recipe I stumbled across on Food Network is her famed ‘Lady and Son’s’ Chicken Pot Pie that is an entree at her family restaurant; and at $18.99 on the menu, this dish better knock it out of the park!
Thus, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try a dish of hers and see what pot pie is really all about. We all know Paula likes her some rich ingredients so I was fully prepared for this not to be light. I also was going to be using turkey instead of chicken…I mean the whole purpose was to use up some of all that bird we had, right?
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
- Prep Time:
- 20 min
- Inactive Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 30 min
- 4 servings
- 4 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 chicken breast halves, or 2 cups leftover cooked chicken
- Seasoned salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chicken base
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 cup frozen green peas, cooked
- 1 cup chopped cooked carrots
- Pinch fresh grated nutmeg, optional
- Special equipment: 4 (2-cup) individual baking dishes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each sheet of frozen puff pastry into 1-inch strips, 8 inches long. On a large cookie sheet, weave strips into a lattice large enough to cover each pot pie. Brush beaten egg onto each lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes, or until dough has risen and turned light golden brown. Set aside until ready to assemble pies. Leave oven on at 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into chunks. Alternatively, you may use precooked chicken.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly add flour, stirring until consistency of peanut butter, but not brown like a roux. Slowly add cream and keep stirring. Add chicken base, garlic, and onion and stir until thickened. Add peas, carrots, nutmeg, if using, and cut up chicken. Remove from heat. Fill 4 individual oven-proof bowls with chicken mixture and then top each with a pre-cooked lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Any remaining pie filling may be frozen.
I cut this recipe in half to only make two pies. I figured they would be big and filling enough that we likely wouldn’t eat a whole pie (and oh was I right!…which I’ll get to). So when I got going I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this recipe. From the looks of the ingredients, I knew it must be rich from the amount of cream and butter it needed, but I was interested to see the consistency. Adam eats those frozen pot pies from time to time and they always seem to be a tad runny inside the pie crust, so I was dying to see what Miss Paula came up with. I was also intrigued by the fact that she uses puff pastry as the crust and I wasn’t sure if I would like that twist or not.
So, I moved on and began by pouring a glass of wine (always a good first step ;)), chopping up the veggies, and thawing the puffy pastry. After the pastry is thawed, it is cut and made into a lattice shape and baked.
I must admit at this point I was getting excited because I do love some puffy pastry. It did seem a bit excessive to use an entire sheet of pastry for one pie, but I figured it was worth it so I went with it.
This dish actually comes together really quickly and once you start adding all of the ingredients together, the pie filling comes together fast. And when it is ready to go in the baking dishes, it has the consistency of mashed potatoes…THICK; and what is so odd is there are no potatoes involved, just butter, flour, and cream. With the addition of peas, carrot, and onion, this mixture was ready for the individual baking dishes and the puff pastry topper. Finally, the pies then go back in the oven where they get all bubbly and the “crust” browns a bit.
Looks good huh? I presented this in front of Adam and his eyes just lit up, and I must admit it sure does come out pretty. The lattice puff pastry just gives it some flair. But underneath, this dish was comfort food on steroids for sure…way tasty! Paula is not messing around when it comes to the richness. But as I said before…everything in moderation is the key.
As we dug in, I was taken over by the flavor…it is rich for sure, but the addition of nutmeg surely gives it a comfort sweet taste. The puff pastry is lighter than a regular crust, which really is a nice complement to the heaviness of the filling. Still, this dish IS VERY heavy! Both of us could only get through half of our pies; and when we were done we both agreed it really needed more turkey, or chicken, or whatever meat you are using. In fact, I would almost double what Paula says, because it would really cut down on the creaminess.
TASTE: This dish was certainly no short of amazing. Paula truly does know her stuff; and although heavy ingredients, they certainly do give this dish the right taste and texture. Let’s be honest, with a dish like pot pie, you really don’t want to go light. It’s go big or go home in my book and this is definitely the ‘Go Big’ version. So between the texture and the puff pastry, you certainly have a dish that screams comfort and warmth!
EASE OF PREPARATION: I was surprised at just how easy this dish was to put together. I have to admit I have never made a rue before, but that is essentially what the beginning stages of this dish are. You do have to watch it pretty closely and keep stirring, but before long it is crazy how this goes from a few ingredients to pure amazingness.
COST: These pot pies are easy on the wallet too. Considering we had the turkey, butter, and flour on hand, all I needed was the puff pastry, veggies, and cream, none of which were outrageous. And even if you had to buy all of the ingredients, none of them are very costly; and since this can easily make one large pie to feed a crowd, it is fairly cost effective.
COMPLEXITY: None of the tasks required are hard at all…, really just a lot of stirring and adding an ingredient here or there. It is amazing how pretty this looks when it comes out, because a child could really make this. The lattice shaped crust, I think, are what make this dish go from simple to purely gourmet.
PORTION SIZE: As I mentioned above, this dish is heavy and filling. We could each only eat half of our pies, so just two pies could easily feed a few people and they would be satisfied. You could also make a large pie and serve a salad alongside for a great complete meal. 😉
So I’ll say ii again, the creaminess was good, just needed another stronger contrasting flavor and texture. But overall, I was totally impressed by this dish; and although I wouldn’t want to eat it everyday, I definitely would want to make it again. I give Paula Deen’s Lady and Son’s Chicken Pot Pie 4 1/2 ‘Little Piggies.’
Stay tuned for another post this week, I am running a little behind because of the holidays, but I want you all to still enjoy some good reviews!