Monday, October 22, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie with Saffron and Shiitake Mushrooms

Making this dish was time consuming and my kitchen was a complete mess, but the reaction from my family made my night! The taste was amazing and I know I'll make this dish again and again, especially in the fall and winter months. Comfort food all the way!

Chicken Pot Pie with Saffron and Shiitake Mushrooms
by Susan Whempner
adapted from this chicken broth recipe and the filling is adapted from
Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

For the chicken:
8 cups water
one 3 1/2 pound whole chicken
1 celery stalk, chopped into large pieces
1 carrot, chopped into large pieces
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
3 pinches Marx Foods Sargol Saffron Threads

Pour the water into a large pot, add the chicken, celery, carrot, onion and bay leaf. Bring to a rapid boil, then simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and let cool (do not discard the broth). Skim the fat from the broth, strain into a bowl, discard the veggies and bay leaf. Season the strained broth with salt and pepper to taste, add the saffron threads, stir and set aside. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside. Discard the bones and skin. 

For the filling:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
5 cups reserved chicken broth
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or more or less to your taste)
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or more or less to your taste)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup Marx Foods Dried Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, reconstituted and then chopped
(to reconstitute, soak in warm water for about 30 minutes, drain and be sure to press out excess water)
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Melt the butter over medium-high heat, then whisk in the flour, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the 5 cups of chicken broth and stir until the sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Saute for 8 minutes, add the mushrooms and saute for an additional one to two minutes. Meanwhile, bring some water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the diced potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, drain. Add the sauteed veggies, potatoes, peas, parsley and more salt and pepper to taste, to the sauce. Set aside.

For the crust:
You will need your favorite crust recipe for a 2 crust pie
one egg
1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out one of the crusts to fit into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and the pie weights.

Add the filling to the dish. There will be way more than the 9 x 9 dish will hold (the extra can be frozen for another pot pie later, or it would probably be enough to fill a 9 x 13 dish if you have enough pie crust. I didn't realize how much filling there was going to be as I was creating.). Top the dish with the second pie crust, draping the crust over the sides about 1/2 inch. Trim any excess. Cut 5 slits in the top of the crust. Brush with an egg wash made from one egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk. 

Bake the pot pie at 400 for 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and bake for 45 more minutes, until the crust is golden brown. It goes great with a nice green salad.    

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