Thankful for: Hobbies

On top of my extensive collection of kitchen equipment, I have an extensive collection of clothes. Clothes are tons of fun. My husband often questions whether or not I need more clothes, which is when I donate some of what I haven’t worn in a while to Goodwill and answer, “Yes, see? I just donated a bunch. Why are you rolling your eyes?!” My kids have a lot of clothes too. It’s crazy.

But my real love is fiber, more specifically yarn. My totes of yarn are busting at the seams. Silk yarn, Merino yarn, Alpaca yarn, you name it, there is probably something like it in one of those totes. I even have yarn made from Sugar Cane (it’s for something for my husband, he saw it and thought it was ‘interesting’). I love cashmere, but there is no way I can just buy a cashmere sweater, so, I knit it myself! I have found knitting to be the single most therapeutic thing I do. Having a bad day? Knit all your worries away. Having a good day? Knitting is happy! Feeling ill? Knit yourself a sweater to keep you warm. It’s seriously the cure all.

My other hobby, baking (of course). And what better to bake for dinner than, Chicken Pot Pie.

This recipe is my FAVORITE chicken pot pie recipe. It’s so warm and comforting. The crust is amazing, the filling is even better.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter,
    cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling:

  • 14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut
    into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbs. chicken demi-glace
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
    1/8 inch thick
  • 3 oz. white button mushrooms, cut into
    1/4-inch dice
  • 6 oz. small red-skinned potatoes, cut into
    1/2-inch dice
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Directions:

To make the pastry, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt and butter and process with 15 rapid on-off pulses; the mixture should look light and dry and resemble tiny, irregular flakes and crumbs. Add 5 Tbs. of the water and process with 5 rapid on-off pulses. Add the remaining 3 Tbs. water and process with 3 rapid on-off pulses. Stop and feel the dough (taking care not to touch the blade); it should be just damp enough to mass together. If necessary, add more water by tablespoonfuls, pulsing briefly after each addition. The total mixing time is less than 1 minute, and the dough should remain a rough, shaggy mass.Using floured hands, pat the dough into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger dough disk into a 12-inch round about 3D16 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Roll out the second dough disk into a 10 1D2-inch square about 1D4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into nine 3 1D2-inch squares. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat an oven to 400ºF.

To make the filling, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells fragrant and nutty, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and demi-glace. Slowly add the stock, whisking until smooth, and bring to a boil. Add the thyme, bay leaf, onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, chicken, peas, salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Transfer the filling to a 3 1D2-quart Dutch oven. Brush the rim of the pot with water. Lay the pastry round over the top and press the edges to seal. Brush the pastry with some of the egg mixture and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, brush the tops of the pastry squares with the egg mixture and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. To serve, scoop the potpie into individual dishes and serve the pastry squares alongside. Serves 6 to 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

I make this every so often because 1. it’s good 2. sometimes I feel like my dutch ovens are feeling abandoned 3. it feels like New Englander food 4. my husband is impressed by it.

You can, of course, use a baking dish, if you don’t have a dutch oven, it all works the same. I used white wine instead of sherry and left out the mushrooms because my husband ‘doesn’t like fungus’. Soo good, though.

Try it. You’ll like it.

I love picking up new hobbies. Spinning fiber into yarn is my next stop.

One thought on “Thankful for: Hobbies

  1. debbie Cote

    OMG, What a great idea for us “crusties” to leave the excess dough hanging over the edges. It’s also a good lesson in how good it can be not to be perfect!

    Reply

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