Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do you Smitten?

Do you know of this food blog called Smitten Kitten?

Wait!  It's Smitten KiTCHEN.

I always type it kitten.  Meow.

Of course you know this blog.

Ms. Mudd turned me on to her.  Thank you Ms. Mudd!

The girl's a rage.

Never had a cooking lesson.

Never even waitressed.

Has a best selling cookbook on the NYT list.  (Hint, hint Santa.)

Love her.

Hate her.

Last night I, on a complete cooking whim, decided to tackle her chicken pot pie.

Now, I rarely eat meat, and I am not a big fan of yard bird, to be truthful, BUT (butt after you read the butter count in this recipe) I do love a pot pie!

I love vegan pot pie, and turkey pot pie, and Shepard's Pot Pie and, now, chicken pot pie.

I am not kidding you when I say we ate this stuff like wolves.

All three of us.

Drooling and shoveling and grunting.

Disgusting and fantastic.


You get the picture.

So, yea, Smitten Kitchen is the best food blog on the Oracle, if you ask me.

I know it's not Friday Food, but you might want to make this on Friday so you can eat it again on Saturday and Sunday without your coworkers staring at you in horror while you rip at it's flesh I mean, crust.

It is that good.

It might be the best thing I ever cooked.

I really mean that. It was incredibly freaking delicious to the point of being weird.

To begin, here's what I did differently:

1.  I used frozen puff pastry instead of making my own crust because a) I am lazy and b) I am lazy.  My friend, Chef Mo, said to make sure to prick (hee hee, she said prick) the tops of the pastry so that it can puff up. 

Warning!!!! Frozen puff pastry needs 40 minutes to defrost.  This is a terrible thing to discover at 6:00 pm when you've just told your family the pies are "going in the oven in 5 minutes."  I ended up holding the big brick of dough over a steaming pot of water and it took less than the dreaded 40.

If you want the crust recipe, Missy Perfecto, head on over there to her site cuz it looked pretty easy. You'll just have to ignore the instructions on the end of the recipe if you're using frozen dough like I did.  Just drape the sheets of thawed puff pastry over the tops of the bowls any old way you want, crimp them down  around the edges of the bowl and then prick them.  I pretty much doubled the sheets of pastry because I loooooove crust.

2.  I did not have any frozen baby onions so I sauteed some mushrooms with the sauteing onions and that worked out just fine and yummy.  I added 1.5 cups of them.

3.  I could not find bouillon cubes at the market anywhere?!?!  What the hell on that?  Some lady told me get Better Than Bouillon, so I did.  It was good shit.  Now I see that she even mentions that in the recipe.

4.  I used less salt because the Better Than Bouillon stock stuff was salty like a sailor and I got scared.  I thought the pies were pretty too salty even still.  I would definitely take the salt down to one teaspoon.  Right before she says to add the heavy cream, she says to add 2 tsps of salt. I added one, but would not add any next time.

5.  She said that this recipe makes 4 bowls.  I'm not sure how big her bowls were, but we had 4 big ramekins, plus two mini bake pans, plus 2 pints leftover (that I ate for breakfast and lunch).

6.  It did not take anywhere near an hour for all this to cook into bubbly and brown.  I think she did some of hers the night before and I did mine all at once so everything was already piping hot.  So just keep an eye and a nose on it.  You'll see when the tops start getting golden.

Here's the recipe:
(Apparently it's adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.)  
(Be sure to read the comments for some extra fun and information.)

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Ina Garten

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (we used 2 whole/4 split large ones; worked fine)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes (if you, like us, use Better than Bouillon, the exchange is 4 teaspoons)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (apparently, Birds Eye sells these; I’ve never found them and peeled fresh ones), blanched for 2 minutes (can do this with the carrots)
Glug of sherry (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken. (We did this a day in advance.)

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, parsley and a glug of sherry, if you’re using it. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

You will die.

You will die.

You will die.

I will admit that I kinda freaked out on the butter content.  I put that much in there, but then drained a bunch of it out.  I'm sure that's what made it all taste so insanely good, but I just don't think I could use that much again next time.  It felt evil.  I saw in the comments section that some people did not use that much and things turned out quite yummy anyway. 

I also did not have any sherry, but I wish I had had some because that sherry taste would have sent this off the charts.  I like the taste of sherry though.  Maybe you don't.

On a scale of 1-10 for difficulty, I think this was a 4 even though it looks kinda tricky.   It was really easy ... just cutting and sauteing and mixing together.  The puff pastry made it super easy.  

I do think the mushrooms added some depth to it.  

I was also surprised that parsley was the only herb, but damn if it wasn't perfect.  I wouldn't shy away from some sage or rosemary next time though, just for kicks.

I hope you try this so that we can oooh and ahhh over it.

I wanna know if you thought it was a heavenly as we did.

I'm gonna try a vegan version of it next time.  Well, actually, probably vegetarian because I'm pretty sure some of that butter is gonna stay.

It's staying on my ass right now, for sure.

Worth every bit, y'all, worth every bit.


  1. OHellyummo! I love chkn pie. I use a store bought pie crust - a double one - thaw and use the second one on top. I cheeeet! and am embarrasseddded to admit I use cream of mshrm soop cuz Mr.H loves it, thinned down with broth. I sneak in peas so H. get some veg. Yours is healthier and tastier, I bet but mine is quicker if you are in a peeeench. You are gettin to be a real cookin' FOOL! It is fun and I still love Smitten.
    ms mud

    1. Ms Mudd, Well I can certainly see using some soup! No shame in that. Girl, this has 1 1/2 sticks of butter in it. It's a heart attack with a crust! Yuuuummmmm.

  2. This looks like the kind of pot pie served at really nice tearooms when I was young... so tempting to try it!

    I've made cookies from Smitten Kitchen, and one kind was TOO big a hit with my out-of state family - much baking & postage will be required for Christmas!

    M., you do know that the Smitten Kitchen author Deb Perelman is going to be at Austin's Book People at 603 North Lamar, at 7pm tomorrow night (November 30th), right? You could meet her!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Annie dear, I JUST found out that she is going to be here and I am BESIDE myself with giddyness! I am going to go for sure.

    I'm going to make the roasted pear and chocolate scones tomorrow. I forsee postage in my future as well.

    Thanks for letting me know about Deb.

  4. Dude.
    Ina Garten is the queen of butter. Everything with her starts with a stick of butter. She even jokes about it.
    I, however, never joke about butter. It's too damn important.

    I wonder if this would work without the crust? Put in a casserole dish, sprinkle parmesan, bread crumbs and stuff on top and bake? Hm? I think I might try THAT. It's a travesty, but crust and I are not good friends.

    However, Butter and I are like best friends, so there's that.

  5. Now if someone would just come up with a really good grain free crust, but hasn't happened yet. No wheat, means no puff pastry for me. I'm all for the butter part, though.

  6. You HAVE to know that Deb (of Smitten Kitchen) will be at BookPeople tonight (11/30/12) at 7p to speak and sign copies of her book. I'm ticked off that by pre-ordering her book and getting it hot off the presses that I can't go to BookPeople to have it signed. That's right - only books purchased tonight can be signed. However, go anyway. Deb's the best and you can always buy a copy to give away, right?

  7. I love Smitten Kitchen. AND chicken pot pie. I will definitely be making this soon! Oh, and I'm with you on the puff pastry bit. Puff pastry is amazing amazing amazing.

    Off to check out some more of your great blog!


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