Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Perfect Pie Crust and Chicken Pot Pie

I've found it. The most PERFECT pie crust. hands down. ever. And its all thanks to Julia Child. It turns out she really is a culinary genius though the woman did NOT know the meaning of low fat or heart healthy (though, seriously, she lived to be 92....not bad for a woman who's every recipe contains 3 lbs of butter....ok a little exaggeration there, but still :)). The recipe is following, though I'm sorry to say there is no picture to encourage you to try it. The chicken pot pie it was used for (meant to serve 6 to 8) was eaten straight out of the oven by two apparently hungry missionaries, my husb and I, with not a scrap left. It truly was a thing of beauty, however...golden, flaky beyond your wildest dreams (who doesn't dream of pie crust) and so tender....did i mention completely delicious as well? With out further ado, here's the holy grail of pie crusts and the chicken pot pie filling as well, just for kicks.

Julia Child's Pie Crust from the Art of French Cooking Vol 1

2 c flour (scooped and leveled)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks chilled butter cut into 1/2 inch bits
4 Tbsp chilled shortening
a scant 1/2 c iced water plus droplets as needed.


Mix together dry ingredients. Add fat and with your finger tips only (or a food processor if you are lucky enough to have one) quickly rub the flour and fat together until the fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes. (Mine were a little larger. You mix it a little later so don't be too worried--the idea here is to do this quickly.)

Add the water and blend quickly with your fingers held together and slightly cupped to gather dough into a mass. Sprinkle up to 1 Tbsp more water droplets if needed to get any stragglers into the main body. Then press dough together firmly--it should just hold together and not be sticky. Then, on a lightly floured surface, place the dough ball and with the heel of one hand, rapidly press the dough away from you by two spoonful bits. The smear should be 6 inches or so. This finishes blending the fat and the flour.

Gather the dough together into a disk, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick and 2 in larger then your pan. Follow baking directions for the dish you are making

If you need a baked crust, bake crust, weighted with pie weights, for 15 to 20 min in 400 degree oven.



Loni's Chicken Pot Pie Filling

4 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celerys, chopped
1/3 c flour
4 c chicken broth (give or take)
1/2 c cream
1/2 tsp thyme
3 c chicken, diced (I usually use left-over rotisserie chicken but you can also just boil chicken breasts and chop them up!)
2 to 3 c vegetables, diced (I like to use 2 or so cups of Costco's Normandy Vegetable blend, heated for 3 or 4 minutes in the micro)
Cooked potatoes, diced (optional)
3/4 c peas
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

Over medium-high heat melt butter and cook onion, carrot, and celery 10 min, moderating the heat so butter doesn't burn. Whisk in the flour, allow to cook for 1 min more. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, reduce heat to low and let cook 10 min or until desired consistency. Add cream and thyme and let cook a few minutes longer, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat.

In oval casserole dish put chicken, veggies, peas, parsley, and potatoes (if using). Pour sauce over all and stir. Place pie crust over casserole, letting the edges drape over the side. Pinch the pie crust around the edge of the casserole to seal. Cut three air holes in crust and brush on a wash of beaten egg.

Bake pot pie in 400 degree oven for 50-60 min. Be ready for some seriously delicious food!

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1 comment:

Madeline and Family said...

Love this recipe. I have always wanted to try Julia's cookbook after I saw the movie. I bet it lives up to the true potential of that infamous leading lady in the cooking world.

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