Monday, June 15, 2009
I don't usually think of meat pies as my thing. I believe I mentioned my aversion in my Shepherd's Pie post. Just something about the words "meat" and "pie" together. But I am open to change, as some of you no doubt think impossible.
One little recipe that is changing my mind came from Food and Wine's April 2009 issue. Instead of the usual pie crust (one of the parts of "pot pie" that makes me grimace a little), there is no bottom crust and the top is a delicious sheet of puff pastry dough, baked golden and flaky. The filling is simply chicken, leeks, and onions in a creamy sauce flavored with tarragon.
The only downer to this recipe is the time it takes to prepare. First you:
Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper:
3 whole chicken legs (thigh connected to the drumstick)
Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then shred the meat. Reserve any pan drippings.
Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw:
1 14 oz puff pastry sheet (all butter, but good luck finding that! the best I could do was no trans-fat dough)
In a large sauce pan (I used a cast iron skillet), melt:
2 TB of butter
1 onion chopped into 1/4 inch dice
1 large leek (white/light green parts only), halved and sliced into 1/2 pieces
Saute 5 minutes over medium heat. Then add:
1 TB grainy mustard
1/4 c flour
Stir it in and cook for about a minute. Then add:
1 c low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c whole milk
1/4 heavy cream
reserved pan drippings
Cook over moderate heat, bring to a simmer, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until sauce is thick. Stir in the shredded chicken and:
2 TB chopped tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375.
Spread the filling into a rectangular pan about 8 x 11 inches. Roll out pastry dough to about 9 x 13 inches. Carefully place over the pan of filling, tucking in the edges. Brush the top with:
1 TB milk
Then sprinkle with:
1 TB sesame seeds
With a sharp knife, cut three slits in the top of the crust. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about an hour until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for another 30 minutes.
And then you get to eat it!
My oldest daughter LOVES this dish. She had three helpings...lucky for her she's got the metabolism of a hummingbird. Even the baby ate two moderately sized helpings. She was silent through the whole meal, meticulously finishing every bite.
Only the boy barely finished his first helping, but that's to be expected from him. At least he didn't complain.
All that work and there wasn't a bite left in the pan...well, unless you get the spatula out to scrape the bottom (but no one felt the need this time).