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An Excellent Chicken Pot Pie
4 cups (1 L) water
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
5 parsley sprigs
1 air-chilled whole roasting chicken, or parts
8 small carrots (1 bunch)
2 medium-large potatoes
24 pearl onions , peeled
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp each salt, dried thyme and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup 18% cream
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup cold lard, cubed
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Stir together 1 large egg yolk with 2 tbsp cream, milk or water.
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
In a large stockpot or saucepan, combine the water and broth with the flavouring items: the bay leaves, thyme, celery and parsley. If using a whole chicken, use kitchen shears to cut into quarters; add the chicken to the pot, adding more water if needed to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming off any foam on the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes. Check the breasts first and remove them if their juices run clear, before the juices run clear in the thighs and legs. Remove the chicken to a tray to cool.
Skim the flavouring items from the poaching broth and discard. Peel and cut the carrots and potatoes into bite-size chunks. Simmer, covered, in the broth until just tender, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a tray. Add the onions to the broth; simmer, covered, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the tray with the potatoes and carrots and set aside. While the vegetables are cooking, pull the skin off the chicken. Pull the meat away from the bones and chop the meat into bite-size pieces. Return the bones to the poaching broth and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bones; strain the broth into a large measuring cup or bowl. You should have about 4 1/2 cups. If less, top up with chicken broth; if more, freeze for another dish.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken poaching broth, about a quarter at a time. Bring to a simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth; simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and cream. Let cool while making the pastry.
Using a food processor or in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Sprinkle the butter and lard over the flour and salt. Pulse or use a pastry blender to combine the ingredients until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. In a measuring cup, stir together the yolk and vinegar; add ice water to the 1/2 cup mark. Drizzle over the crumbly mixture and pulse about 6 times or stir until the dough is ragged and blended. Turn out onto a floured counter and press into a flat rectangular shape. Wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Gently mix the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, parsley and sauce in a 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, large enough to fit over the filling without stretching and about 1/2 inch down the four sides. Place over the filling; trim the edges and press to the dish. Cut a few slashes down the centre to let steam escape. Brush with the egg wash. Press the pastry scraps together and reroll; cut out decorative shapes and press onto the pastry. Brush the shapes with egg wash. Place the pot pie on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the centre of a 400°f (200°c) oven until the filling is bubbling and the pastry a lovely golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Excerpted from "Canada’s Favourite Recipes" (Whitecap Books) by Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird. Photo by Tracey Kusiewicz.