Thursday, March 31, 2011

After the Stew

 M'dears, I have just made home made chicken potpie and it was easy.  And delicious.  Not healthy, really, but so delicious. You see I had this leftover chicken stew from earlier this week (see previous post about the wandering Band-aid), and I am not a huge fan of leftovers.

So I found myself wondering about making sort of a savory crisp.  I can make fruit crisps in my sleep more or less.  So I began, and half way through I decided that I wanted a more biscuity top crust, so I added some baking powder and milk.  All in all it came together very nicely and a good use for the stew.

Leftover Potpie

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 c COLD butter (room temperature butter only if you want a gluey mess)
2/3 c cold milk
A quart of so of stew.  If the gravy/broth is thin, mash together equal quantities flour and butter into a paste and toss that in the stew, and then simmer the stew for a while to get rid of the raw flour flavor.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a largish bowl.

Chop up the butter into very small pieces.  (I usually quarter the stick of butter the long way, then quarter the quarters the long way, and then dice the butter small.) 

Rub the butter into the flour (or use a pastry blender or two knives).  That is toss the mini butter cubes in the dry ingredients, and then with clean DRY hands work the butter into the flour, by rubbing handfuls of flour and butter between your thumb and fingers.  Because the palms of your hands are warmer than the extremities, try to avoid contact with the palm of your hands.  Continue this until the butter and flour are mixed to a crumb like consistency. 

Pour on the cold milk, stirring just until it comes together. 

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, and pat the dough out into a round(ish) half an inch thick.  This should be a bit more than eight inches in diameter (mine was more than enough for the round casserole I was using, but if I were you I would probably shoot for the diameter of whatever vessel you're making the pie in.  Cover with another layer of plastic wrap, place it on a plate and stick it in the fridge for an hour.

While the dough is chilling,  bring the stew to a low simmer.  This would be the time to thicken it if necessary. 

Likewise preheat the oven to 350.

When the oven is hot and it's been an hour, carefully pour the warmed soup into the intended vessel.  I used an eight inch diameter souffle dish, which worked just fine.  But whatever you use, use something with walls high enough to hold the filling and the crust, with some spare. 

Get the crust out of the fridge, discard the plastic wrap (like I needed to tell you to do that), and place over the filling.  Cut a vent in the crust. If you have extra crust trim it off and bake it on a cookie sheet

Bake at 350 until golden, about 35 minutes. 

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