Monday, October 18, 2010

Anne's Appetizing Autumnals

Food Network strikes again! There I was, minding my own business, watching an episode of "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef," when that Anne Burrell goes and makes the most FABULOUS autumnal menu that I had to try and recreate immediately! The entree was a chicken and butternut squash pot pie, but as I had sweet potatoes on hand and some kale (left over from the kale chips), I made chicken, sweet potato and kale pot pies. YUM!

And though it's extra work to make the crust yourself, Anne's recipe is made decadent and delectable with cream cheese, and almost comes out like a cross between pie crust and a biscuit--flaky and DEE-LICIOUS! Only one word of caution: I ended up with enough filling for four small pies, one double-sized one, and I had the remaining cup or so over rice for lunch at work one day. Sheesh! But no biggie. The pies freeze beautifully, so you might as well make several while you're in the making mode.

Autumn Chicken Pot Pie(s)
Food Network, "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" with Anne Burrell)

For the crust:
1 stick butter, cut into pea-size pieces
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into pieces 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
pinch kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 to 2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:
extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 pounds skinless chicken legs and thighs (I used boneless/skinless thighs)
4 cups rich chicken stock (preferably homemade)
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (I used sweet potatoes)
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces haricots verts
*I also added a couple of cups of kale, stemmed and chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water, for egg wash

To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, cream cheese, flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the ingredients start to come together and resembles Parmesan. Add the egg yolk and one tablespoon of water. Pulse a couple of more times until the ingredients start to form a ball. If the mixture is exceedingly wet, add some more flour. Or conversely, if the mix is dry, dry, dry, add in a few more drops of water.

When the mixture has come together into a ball, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead it a couple of times to help it come together. Dust it with flour, form it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done a day ahead.

Cook's Note: When ready to use the dough, remove it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before rolling, to allow it to warm up and soften.

To make the filling:

Coat the bottom of a stock pot lightly with olive oil put over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and the carrots and sprinkle with salt, to taste. Saute the vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, then add the chicken and the chicken stock. If the stock doesn't cover the chicken, add water until it does. Bring the stock to a boil, over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is simmering, add the butternut squash to a large bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and add salt, to taste. Toss to coat the squash with the oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast until the squash is cooked but still has some texture, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the stock and put into a large bowl. Reserve the stock. When the cool enough to handle, remove the bones from the chicken and stir into the vegetables. Add the roasted squash to the chicken and vegetables. Stir to combine and season with salt, if needed. Stir in the haricots verts and the chopped sage.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine with melted butter. Cook stirring frequently until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand and is starting to turn a little beige, about 6 to 7 minutes. Gradually whisk in the reserved chicken stock. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. When the stock is combined into the roux, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it has a gravy-like consistency, about 20 to 25 minutes. If the gravy reduces too much and becomes too thick, whisk in a little more chicken stock or water.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the chicken mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish or 4 individual (2 cup) crocks. Ladle the "gravy" over the chicken mixture until the dish(s) are 3/4 filled. (I combined the chicken filling and the sauce, and then filled my dishes.)

Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of the casserole dish or large enough to cut circles to cover the individual casserole dishes. Whichever dishes are being used the dough needs to have generous overhang of dough on the edges of the dish. Brush the outside edges of the dish with a little of the egg wash to help "glue" the dough to sides of the dish. Fold the edges of the dough under and press it onto the edges of the dish. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining egg wash. Cut a couple of vents in the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven until the dough is golden brown and the inside is hot and bubbly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

I also made a version of Anne's Butter Lettuce Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Oyster Mushroom Chips, Cabrales and Pears from the same episode, but I swapped out so many of the main ingredients, it's hardly recognizable as the same dish. Mine was sort of a lower-rent version of her salad based on ingredients that I had on hand. But let me tell you, it was just incredibly flavorful, and one that I will be making again and again during apple season!

My salad was comprised of butter lettuce (my favorite!), sauteed baby portabellas instead of the oyster mushrooms, bacon swapped for the pancetta, domestic bleu cheese instead of the fancy Spanish, and Macintosh apples instead of pears. And I made a creamy blue cheese vinaigrette for the top because I wanted something to coat the apples (in the Waldorf fashion). I must say again, the resulting salad was EPIC! Don't you just love fall and all of these wonderful harvest-time ingredients? :-D


APer1202 said...

I love Anne's show, I haven't been brave enough to try something yet.

haribo sweets said...

Wow, nice version of the pot pie. It looks delicious. I love food network too and when they show a recipe that's absolutely too delectable to ignore, I tend to make my own version, too. :) And nice looking salad btw. :D