Essentially I am vegetarian. I have been for more than two years; not because I have something against meat, but because of the way animals are treated.
However last week while browsing my local farmers market, I realized there was a farm near me, where I could buy organic free- range chicken. And I could see it; I didn’t have to rely on stamped packages flown in from far away.
So I bought one, and then came the hard part. What should I make with it? It had to be something good, but that didn’t kill the chicken flavor. It had to be something I loved, since I would not be having it for a long time. But, most of all it would have to be something I would enjoy making.
I browsed through a simple recipe book, one I bought at Wal-Mart before I entered culinary school, Potatoes and Vegetables, by Parragon Publishing, and there nestled between ham empanadas and potato bread was a pot pie. Simple, traditional, my favorite!
The recipe is a little modified from the original, but the results are to much for words.
225 g potatoes (diced)
225g chicken, (diced and sautéed)
25g all-purpose flour
50g carrots and zucchinis (diced and steamed)
225g all- purpose flour
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne
125g crumbled blue cheese
2 egg yolks (1 extra)
4-6tbs cold water
1. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, until soft. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter, and sauté chicken, add flour and milk (stirring as you go)
3. Take to quick boil; add potatoes, vegetables, set aside
4. In a bowl, mix flour, cayenne, and butter until it resembles coarse meal.
5. Add yolks and water, until you form paste.
6. Extend the paste in a buttered deep-dish (or 4 individual ones). Cover base and sides.
7. Spoon filling, and extend the rest of flour paste on top.
8. Extend well with a spoon, and wash with the extra egg yolk.
9. Bake and 350F 40 minutes or until cooked and browned.
I didn’t use the chicken legs, wings, or extras in the pot pie. We boiled it Mexican style in a broth, with seasoning and onion. Nobody ate it that day (the pie was just so filing).
So, the next day I got the inspiration to make cream of chicken. It was just as delicious as the pot pie, and very memorable when served with quesadillas and guacamole.
Crème de Poulet
2lbs boiled chicken (from chicken broth, really soft with no bones)
1.5 qt chicken stock
1/2 onions boiled
1/4 head romaine lettuce
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp hot sauce
1tsp ground coriander seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice zucchinis and chop lettuce, then steam for 4 minutes or until soft.
2. Once soft, put in a food processor with a few spoons of chicken broth until a smooth puree forms. Put on a large pot, set aside
3. Then put chicken and boiled onion in the food processor, 4 -6 oz chicken broth and process until smooth puree forms.
4. Combine vegetable and chicken puree, along with remaining broth and bring to a quick boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add spices stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve wart topped with croutons and cream cheese.
Yield: 4 Servings