A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Friday, 23 July 2010
“Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer…” – Plutarch
It’s still cold and wet here Downunder and we are staying inside with the heater on and lovely warm winter food to keep us going. It’s time for baking and frying and stewing all those rich, hot dishes that are packed with energy and taste wonderful. I can feel my cholesterol going up just thinking about them! However, we are also having lots of citrus, lemons and grapefruit, mandarins, tangelos and oranges. They supply the vitamins and the fibre, but also boost the metabolism of fats.
Tonight we are having a Quick Chicken Pot Pie. Easy to prepare with a supermarket roast chicken, although you could roast your own if you are a purist!
Quick Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients
• 1 ready bought supermarket roast chicken, boned and cut into small pieces
• 2 medium peeled potatoes, cut into 2 cm chunks
• 3 medium carrots, cut into 2 cm chunks
• 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch chunks
• 1 leek, cut into 1 cm rings
• 1 large onion, diced
• 8 fresh mushrooms, quartered
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
• 1 cup peas
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 shot glass of dry sherry
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 6 tablespoons plain flour
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 cup cream
• 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
• Toss the potatoes, onion, carrots, leek, celery, mushrooms with olive oil, parsley and herbs. Place in a roasting pan and bake at 190° for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables are cooked.
• Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside with the peas. Pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon away the fat from the juice, reserving the fat. Add the juices and sherry to the chicken broth. Measure out the fat and add enough butter to make 6 tablespoons.
• Put the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Pour in the 6 tablespoons of fat and butter, when it’s melted add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux till lightly browned, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer the gravy for at least 15 minutes or till it is the consistency of heavy cream.
• Mix the chicken pieces with the baked vegetables, peas, add the gravy.
• Heat oven to 200°. Choose four 350 mL ovenproof ramekins or a two-litre casserole.
• Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out till it is 3 mm. thick. Cut out the pastry for each bowl leaving the pastry a little larger than the top of the dish.
• Divide the chicken mixture, vegetables, and gravy among the dishes. Place the dough on top, pressing along the edge of the dish to seal.
• Combine 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup cream. Brush the mixture onto the top of the pastry with a pastry brush. Put the pies on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake on the centre rack in the oven for 40-50 minutes or till the crust is thoroughly browned and puffed.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.