Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chicken Pot Soup

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous weather day. The temp got into the 40's here, which after the unseasonably cold weather we have had this winter, was like a major heat wave. The point of the weather report is to say that I was in a hurry last night while making dinner. Because of the nice weather, I took the kids to the playground after school until 5 and we had to be back to the school for the school committee meeting at 7. I had cooked the chicken already- boiled it as directed but it took about 2 hours because I cooked it right from the freezer. The kids have had a problem with whole chickens (I have to admit I do feel a little guilty myself when cooking it) since we got ours last spring so I didn't want to thaw it in the fridge overnight. It cooked fine, just took much longer. Here is Tyler Florence's recipe I used from real kitchen. I also found it online here from which I also used the picture- see the cute little ramekins. I don't have any, and probably wouldn't get them for something like chicken pot pie, but maybe for Ree's Baked Fudge at The Pioneer Woman- OMG yum! It makes my mouth water just thinking of it- but I digress, back to the disaster of chicken pt soup.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Broth:
1 whole chicken, 3 pounds
1 gallon cool water
2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
2 turnips, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf

Pot Pie:
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch circles
1 bag frozen or fresh pearl onions, see note
1 box frozen or fresh peas, see note
Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 1 gallon of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim well; then simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming frequently as the oil rises to the surface. What we're doing here is not only cooking the chicken but also creating the base sauce for the pot pie. Remove the chicken to a platter to cool. Continue to cook down the chicken broth for another 15 minutes to condense the flavor; you should have about 8 cups when you're finished. Using a colander, strain the chicken broth into another pot and discard the solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the skin and bones.
Wipe out the stockpot and put it back on the stove top over medium heat. Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour to form a paste. This is a roux, which will act as a thickener. Now, gradually pour in 8 cups of the chicken broth, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Whisk and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth; it should look like cream of chicken soup. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the shredded chicken, carrots, pearl onions, peas, and parsley. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured, cool surface. Invert individual crocks on the pastry sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut circles around the outside of the bowls, slightly larger than the bowl itself. Fill the crocks 3/4 of the way with the chicken mixture, making sure each serving has a nice amount of chicken, vegetables, and broth. Carefully cap each crock with a pastry circle, pressing the dough around the rim to form a seal. Lightly beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush some on the pastry. Sprinkle the pastry with the Parmigiano. Set the crocks on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Notes: If using fresh pearl onions, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water; then pinch the skins off -- if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.
If using fresh peas, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water--if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.

So, like I said, I cooked the chicken as directed- only my chicken was frozen and probably 7 lbs, not 3. I put it into a huge pot, covered it with water and added about double the veggies & herbs. When it was done, I shredded the chicken, skimmed the broth the best I could then put them both into the fridge. When we got home, I made the roux, also doubling, then added the broth. And I think this is where I messed up- I cooked it for 10 minutes, and it was relatively thick, but I think I should have cooked it longer- because look at that the finished product was-

Now, I don't know if they were in individual ramekins, would the soupness (like how I make up my own words?!?) have been an issue. But they weren't. I had made 2 large pans and just thru the sheets of puffed pastry on top- I told you I was in a hurry. "F" for presentation today.
The top of the pastry was delicious, but the bottom was soggy. Maybe from the soupiness of the filling? The flavor was just okay, I did add salt and pepper, and the fresh thyme but it needed more of something, it was pretty bland. I liked the pearl onions, that was a bit different from that I usually use. The kids all liked it, needed a spoon, but they ate it. Adam and I were less than impressed. I did like making my own broth, I would do that again. I'm not sure about the pie though.
This will be my recipe for Tyler Florence Friday's- which you should join but clicking here.


Vered - MomGrind said...

In our house, if we like something the kids hate it and vice versa. :)

Natashya said...

Sorry it didn't work out as planned, great that the kids liked it though!

karen said...

sorry you didn't love it. i know, that baked fudge over at PW looks amazing.

Debinhawaii said...

Sorry it wasn't a favorite for you. It does look good!

Michelle said...

I gave up having a bottom crust on potpie. My bottoms were always soggy unless I pre-baked it and then it was so hard you could not cut it! So I just make a top crust and then every one is happy.

Kristin said...

Hi Ladies- thanks for stopping by!
Vered- we usually do pretty good (except broccoli of course!)
Natasha & Deb- I was so dissapointed- it was the first TF recipe that I didn't love!
Karen- have you tried to make the fudge? You'll have to let me know if you do. It looks great!!!
Michelle- Actually, I meant the lowest part of the top crust. I gave up on the bottom crusts of most pies becasue of just that reason. All the extra caloried didn't seem woth it.

Jenny said...

Ah from one mom to another - I too have rushed through a recipe because I had let the kids stay out and play on a nice day. Always the trade off and sometimes it is just worth it.