A Slow Ride to Comfort Town

Delicious chicken pie for the family. A genius salad. Plus plus.

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Nothing says comfort at the table better than chicken pie. Do this in your EuroCAST double roaster lid and tuck into some holiday food love.

Because this time, we're taking a slow ride into Comfort Town. You deserve food that is bliss in your mouth. This is that menu.

Prepare the chicken and vegetables

  • 1 large onion sliced thin then diced
  • 1 cup diced rose gold or red bliss potatoes
  • 1 cup bias-cut carrots

In your largest EuroCAST pot over medium heat, sauté the vegetables in 4 tablespoons olive oil until they begin to soften and the onions begin to brown.

The sliced mushrooms on the right look nice, but I like to tear them like you see on the left. More tooth. More flavor in the bite. It's cold outside, baby, and nothing says hearty winter food than mushroom flavors. Tear it up.

The sliced mushrooms on the right look nice, but I like to tear them like you see on the left. More tooth. More flavor in the bite. It's cold outside, baby, and nothing says hearty winter food than mushroom flavors. Tear it up.

Add:

  • 1 pkg. crimini or baby portobello mushrooms torn
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Stir to incorporate juices.
Season well with salt and black pepper.

Add:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of tied fresh thyme and fresh sage

Let this simmer over low until the vegetables are soft, and the stock has reduced by almost 1/2 (about 25 minutes).

Cover with lid and let steam off the heat for 10 minutes.

Taste and check for seasoning, and remove tied herb bundle -- it's done its duty.

In a large mixing bowl add the vegetables to

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (from approx. 3 chicken breast halves) roasted skin-on, bone in (for the extra flavor), and then skin removed and shredded from the bone.

For the béchamel sauce

Mix together:

  • 2 cups chicken stock and
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half in a bowl

Set aside.

In a EuroCAST soup pot melt:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

Add:

  •  1/2 cup all purpose flour

Stir constantly until the flour begins to brown. This is called the roux. You will never rue that you know how to make a roux.

Slowly add the liquid from the bowl in a steady stream to the roux and whisk constantly over low heat until the it begins to thicken.  You want it just so it coats the back of the spoon. If it becomes too thick, you can loosen the béchamel with a bit more stock.

Add:

  •  3 Tablespoons freshly minced sage leaves

 Season to taste.

I roasted my own chicken breasts for this recipe in the top of the EuroCAST double roaster. If you're in a hurry (or rather, you're taking the Comfort Town theme very seriously), you can just pick up a pre-roasted chicken from your favorite grocery store.

I roasted my own chicken breasts for this recipe in the top of the EuroCAST double roaster. If you're in a hurry (or rather, you're taking the Comfort Town theme very seriously), you can just pick up a pre-roasted chicken from your favorite grocery store.

Put it together

Pour over chicken and vegetables in the mixing bowl from the first step and spoon that mixture into am 8x8x2 oven-safe glass dish, or your EuroCAST double roaster lid (see the photo).

Cover with pastry dough (see below for my go-to pate brisée recipe) and cut vents in the top.

Brush the pastry with 1 beaten egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water.

Bake at 325F until bubbly and the pastry has browned.

Remove to cool 10 minutes before serving.

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Make the table pretty.

Make the table pretty.

Like we were saying. Make the table pretty. And, in this case, instantly edible.

Like we were saying. Make the table pretty. And, in this case, instantly edible.

My go-to pate brisée recipe

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This recipe makes crusts for pies and tarts -- enough for the bottom and top when you're making a 9-10" dessert.

But it's perfect for this chicken pie. You'll only need half of what you make to top the chicken pie (or maybe a little more).

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ice

Procedure

No one gets tired of eating pie. Really. It's infinitely adjustable, portion-size-wise. And if you slice it really thin, it has no calories. So you can eat lots of those thin pieces. That's what my best friend does. He's a math guy. "Zero times anything is zero," he says, putting slivers of pie in his mouth.

No one gets tired of eating pie. Really. It's infinitely adjustable, portion-size-wise. And if you slice it really thin, it has no calories. So you can eat lots of those thin pieces. That's what my best friend does. He's a math guy. "Zero times anything is zero," he says, putting slivers of pie in his mouth.

Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or food processor, cut the butter in the the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain.  Don't over-blend.

Remove the flour/butter combination to a large, clean work surface such as a large cutting board or cool stainless steel flat pan, dusted lightly with flour.

Combine the water, vinegar and the ice in a large measuring cup. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of that  over the flour mixture to get things started. 

Add more of it, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, using your hands to mix until the dough comes together in a ball.

Squeeze and pinch the dough to make a uniform consistency, bringing in any dry bits.

Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least for one hour, or overnight. 

If making this recipe for the double crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping for each pie or tart. Or use one-half for the chicken pie.

Beet, Date, and Pecan Salad

The salad that proves: Comfort deserves just a little bit of Ziegfeld Follies.

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When you're finally slicing through a crumbly, warm, creamy chicken pie serving on your plate, your brain will automatically want something to contrast it. Something with a bit of tooth. Cool. Maybe from a garden. But -- in the spirit of dining in Comfort Town -- it better be as comforting as the pie on your plate.

Boom.

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Ingredients

  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce or little gems, or any study green that you love.
  • 2 large bunches roasted beet (approx. 6-8 whole, peeled, and quartered)
  • 1 cup large pitted dates, halved.
  • 1 medium red onion sliced wafer thin and dunked into a pickle jar's juices for a good 30 minutes, pulled out and slightly squeezed of the excess juice.

Eat any pickles you pulled out of the jar to make room for the red onion slices. Because pickles.

Now, for the superstars of salad season: Pecans. Done. Like. This.

  • 1/2 cup of our brown sugar and cinnamon pecans (find the recipe here ... and for goodness' sake, just follow us on Instagram, why don't you)

Combine in a big bowl. You're almost there.

Never ever throw away juice from a pickle jar when you can use it to glorify red onion slivers. It just makes them so much better.

Never ever throw away juice from a pickle jar when you can use it to glorify red onion slivers. It just makes them so much better.

Freshly baked bread, or a best loaf from your favorite baker, is a beautiful way to sop up the remains of your chicken pie. Bread and pie crust in one meal? Oh, yes.

Freshly baked bread, or a best loaf from your favorite baker, is a beautiful way to sop up the remains of your chicken pie. Bread and pie crust in one meal? Oh, yes.


FOR THE DRESSING

This is one of my favorite potions. A kind of homemade Ranch dressing, but oh-so-better. And, why not ranch dressing, since we're slow-poking it on our holiday horses into Comfort Town.

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 buttermilk
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and finely diced
  • 2 T. finely diced white onion or shallot
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. glack pepper
  • 2 T. freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 T. dried dillweed
  • 1/2 t. hot Hungarian paprika
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and let it hang out in the fridge for a bit.
  2. Do this baby ahead, cause the longer it sits, the better she tastes.
  3. Taste and adjust for seasoning before adding to the salad.

 

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Paul WardComment