Chicken Pot Pie or Pi or 3.14159265359 to infinity

Pi day.

Pi day is a tradition in our house.  We celebrate with pie.  Any kind of pie.

Yes, we know we are geeks.

We don't judge.

This year I made chicken pot pie/pi.  It turned out really good.  This recipe is for a 13x9 pan.  If you want to make it in a pie tin, the filling and the crust will make two.  You're welcome.

Chicken Pot Pi

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups cold butter (3 sticks), chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 Tablespoons cold water
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 2 teaspoons fresh thyme

2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken OR about 2 pounds chicken tenders or thighs, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1.5 cups green beans
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth or bouillon
1/4 cup white wine, optional...kind of
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3-4 grinds of black pepper

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas.

Gradually add the egg, then the cold water, vinegar and thyme. Mix on low speed until it's just combined.  Remove the dough from the processor and shape into a ball (two if you are making two pies.)  Place the dough in a large plastic bag and slightly flatten.  Seal the dough and place in the fridge.

All of this may be done a day or two before making the pie.

Making the pie:

If the dough was made the day before, take it out of the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or Ditch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.  Sauté the veggies for a couple of minutes, until they become translucent.  Add the chicken and the green beans, and sauté until the chicken is no longer pink.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and stir to combine.  Cook for a couple of minutes, gently stirring.

Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly.  Stir in the wine.  Continue cooking until the mixture begins to thicken.

Pour in the cream, and stir.  Season with the thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook the mixture over low heat, allowing it to thicken gradually, about 4 minutes.  Taste to make sure it has enough salt, and adjust to your taste.

Pour the mixture into a 13x9 baking dish or 2 deep pie pans.

Roll out the pastry so that it's 1 inch larger than the pan. Place the crust on top of the chicken mixture and cut small slits in the top.  Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 40 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Cuban Sliders

I made these tasty little nuggets the other day to go with soup.

My family loved them!!

They would be great to take to a pot luck or as appetizers, too.

Cuban Sliders

24 dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls
1 pound of sliced ham (deli meat)
1 pound of sliced swiss cheese
Dill pickles, sliced
1/4 cup minced onion
2 sticks butter, melted
1/4 cup dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Cut the rolls in half, removing the top and placing the bottom of the rolls in the baking pan.  I put them all in and sliced using the rim of the baking sheet as my guide.  Easy peasy.

Layer the meat, cheese and pickles.  Place the top of the rolls back on top of the rolls.

Whisk together the butter and the dijon mustard.  Add the onions and stir.

With a spoon, pour and schmear the mustard spread on top of the rolls.

Cover the sliders with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Switch the oven to broil and broil until the rolls are a toasted brown.

Eat them up.

PS - we loved the cold leftovers as much as the hot sliders.


Beef Stew

Beef stew - you gotta love it.

This is a great and hearty stew, heavy on the beef, with a meaty, rich, brown flavor.  Do you taste in colors?  I do.

Hopefully, I will get the portions right.  I didn't actually measure.  I just want to remember what I did, because this batch turned out so, so good.

Beef Stew

4 pounds of stew meat, cubed (I just got a package from Costco)
3/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 bottle of Guinness (or dark stout of choice)
4 carrots, sliced
2 leeks, washed and sliced
2-3 potatoes, chopped (optional because many serve the stew over mashed potatoes)
2-3 cups water
2-3 Tablespoons of beef stock concentrate (like Better than Bouillon)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Put the flour and seasoned salt in a large ziplock bag and shake it up.  Put the meat in the flour mixture and shake, rattle and roll until all the meat is covered.

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil.  Brown the beef in batches until it is all browned, removing each batch before adding the next.  Continue until all the beef is browned, adding more oil if needed.  Set beef aside.

In the same dutch oven, add the onions and carrots and leeks.  Cook until the onions are translucent.

To the onion mixture, gently pour the stout into the pot, stirring to get up all the lovely brown bits on the bottom.  Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Add the beef back to the pot.
Add the water and beef stock concentrate.  Taste it to see if you think it need anything.  Adjust it to your taste - it is your stew after all.

Stir until the stew thickens, adding water as needed.
Put the lid on the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 1.5 - 2 hours.

Enjoy the aroma wafting through your abode.

Remove from the oven.  Remove the lid, stir, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes.