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Good morning folks!
Welcome back to Sunday Gravy. For any new readers, this is my weekly cooking feature where I not only cook the recipe given, I also do the crappy photography and give you helpful dick jokery along the way. This feature runs during the NFL offseason because when the games come on I ain’t cooking shit! I’m watching the games just like most of you.
Sunday Gravy is in it’s third season and there is a solid recipe collection stockpiled if you are interested.
Since I’m a product of the 60’s and 70’s there have most definitely been some retro dishes prepared in this here space. Here’s a fun one, “Hotdish!” A Midwest staple and a perfect dish to take with you when you attend the end of year potluck at your local bowling alley or Elks Lodge. Not to mention the fact that it’s easy as fuck to make and pretty, pretty goddamn delicious on top of that.
Want something a little more challenging that still will tickle your retro dick? How about some Beef Stroganoff! Oh yeah, that one has homemade noodles. This would be a great dish to serve when the Hatzenbuhlers (Peggy and Rick) come by for your weekly pinochle game.
Maybe you’re in the mood for some breakfast. You know, sometimes you just have to have a hearty warm dish that will knock you into an 8 hour food coma and send your ass directly back to bed right after eating. Something like a nice batch of homemade biscuits and gravy?
You get the idea. Not everything is an old school, calorie and cholesterol bomb that should come equipped with a free angioplasty. I do some serious elevated techniques too. This year in particular I’ve been doing a lot of baking of my own breads, making fresh pasta and trying to do as much from scratch as possible.
Today’s meal? Yep, one retro, old school, calorie and cholesterol bomb coming right up!
Ah yes, chicken pot pie. Most folks are well acquainted with this single dish meal.
Ever slap one of these into your oven?
Fuck yes, you have. Ever grab a bite of this a little too soon after removing from the oven and you immediately incinerate every fucking taste bud and a three square inch area on the roof of your mouth? Fuck yes you have.
Here’s a confession: I’m a “way too hot” food eater. Both in temperature as well as spice level. I’ve eaten things that would burn the shit out of my hands but my mouth has no issue with at all. You know when you go to a pizza place and they bring a pizza to your table and tell you “Careful, it’s really hot.” You just know you should wait a few minutes until it sets up a bit but you grab the slice immediately then chomp the hell down and scald your goddamn face again. Yeah, that’s me. I don’t think I can burn my mouth anymore. It’s probably just a collection of scar tissue in there that’s permanently impervious to burn.
You really should let things cool down a bit first.
My dear old Ma was quite adept with her pot pie skills. You name the protein and she can make a goddamn pot pie out of it. Of course we had turkey pot pie right after Thanksgiving. She also made a tuna pot pie when times were a little tight financially. Yes that’s made with a can of tuna.
Don’t get disgusted! It was actually pretty fucking tasty. Every once in awhile Ma would break out the good shit and make a beef pot pie with a brown gravy.
Anyway the main pot pie in Ma’s kitchen was the chicken pot pie. Now, when a young formative little yeah right was growing up did his family have a chicken coop with a bunch of smelly ass chickens in the backyard? Yep. Yes my Dad would grab the random non-egg-laying chicken, tie it’s neck to a tree and chop the motherfuckers’ head off traumatizing my brothers and I. Do you think these damn kids these days get exposed to that shit?
Not bloody likely!
Ma always made her own pastry dough and of course it was always a double crust with crust on top AND the bottom of the pie. We will do the same.
Chicken pot pie!
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 (!!!) sticks of cold butter
6 tablespoons of ice water – it may require another tablespoon or two
Remember folks, this is a double crust. If you wanted to make a single crust you could break out your calculator, slide rule and call Neil deGrasse Tyson for assistance or you know, cut the fucking recipe in half.
Oh yeah, this is a goddamn jewel of a pastry crust. Use it for pie, a quiche, for any of your pastry crust needs.
For the filling:
3 cups of cooked chicken – buy a rotisserie chicken or season and precook your own or whatever you want.
1 medium onion- chopped fairly fine
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 potato parboiled
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 stick of butter – AGAIN with the goddamn butter?
4 cups of chicken stock – store bought will be fine here.
8-10 ounces of frozen veggies. You know corn, carrots, peas etc. I used a bag of mixed vegetables which had corn, green beans, carrots and peas but mercifully none of them hideous fucking tiny green lima beans. Them was some nasty motherfuckers! Thanks Birds Eye, you’ve saved millions of American youths from suffering dinnertime trauma by removing the green limas.
1/2 cup of half and half.
1 teaspoon of thyme
Salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.
Let’s get the damn party started already.
Since the crust needs to be refrigerated at least an hour – preferably 3 hours or overnight – let’s go ahead and make the pastry dough first.
I’m being completely serious here, a food processor will make your life so much fucking easier with this. Mixing dough with your hands can be done but the temperature of your goddamn paws will increase the temperature of the dough and possibly melt the butter in the dough. We don’t want that. Not to mention this is easy as fuck to do properly if you have a food processor.
Chill your two sticks of butter, I put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes first, then chop the butter into smaller pieces like so.
Add the flour, salt and sugar to the food processor and give a few pulses to mix. Next add in the butter.
Give this a couple of quick pulses to incorporate. Once the butter is incorporated with the flour – you should see small chunks of butter in the mix – then add in the ice water. Yes. Dammit! Ice water!. When the water is added give the processor just a couple of quick pulses and you are in business. We don’t want to over work the dough.
Grab a handful of the dough, it should just hold together. If it’s too dry add another tablespoon of ice water. You don’t want this too wet. If the dough holds together when you give it a gentle squeeze, then that shit is ready. Again, this is two crusts worth of dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic.
Now place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I recommend 3 hours and again, you can make this a day ahead and save yourself some work the next day.
For the chicken, I just bought some boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut them into small-ish pieces and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil with just some salt, pepper and a little “essence.”
Cook for a few minutes until the chicken is no longer pink. There’s a fine line here where you don’t want to overcook the chicken because it will be cooked again in a 400 degree oven but then again I ain’t about to tell you folks to under cook your chicken. You’ll figure it out.
Or buy a goddamn rotisserie chicken like I mentioned.
Let’s get a pre-cook on that potato and then we can put the whole thing together.
Get a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add salt to the water if desired. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes and cook them for just 7 minutes. Again, not completely cooked through, just parboiled because we don’t want mushy fucking potatoes in the pot pie.
Want to see something sexy?
You do, don’t you?
Well look at this sexy motherfucker right HERE!
That is one sexy fucking casserole dish! I’ve had this thing for-fucking-ever and I love the bastard. I cook my Grandmommies cornbread dressin’ in this dish for Thanksgiving every year. It is perfect for all of your slow cooked, casserole needs.
Now that’s some retro shit right there!
Let’s do this damn thing.
Get a deep pot or the trusty Dutch oven on the stove top and melt that 1/2 stick of butter in there. Next add in the onions and let’s give them a saute.
When the onion is tender and lightly golden add in the garlic and cook just until the garlic is aromatic. Next we will add the half cup of flour and get us a nice roux going.
Stir the roux until the flour has been mixed in and it’s all blended together. Next step is adding in the chicken stock.
This will cook for about 5 minutes or so until the roux starts tightening up the gravy. You want this to be pretty much a gravy consistency. I don’t like it to be too loose. When the gravy is the right texture go ahead and season with the thyme, salt and pepper.
Next we are going to add in the half and half.
Yes, you’re going to need to put in about an extra 12 miles this week to work this sumbitch off. Stir, cook and thicken until the consistency is just right.
When the sauce is ready, turn the heat off of the burner and gently add in the mixed veggies, the chicken and the potatoes. Give a gentle stir or two and let rest until the sauce reaches about room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Now it’s time to start fucking around with the dough.
Remove one of the dough balls from the refrigerator and place on a “FLOURED” surface. Not “lightly floured” but “FLOURED.”
Use some flour to coat your rolling pin and let’s roll this shit out. Starting in the center, roll the dough outwards working from each direction. You want the dough to be about 1/8th of an inch thick when rolled. Get your casserole dish nearby and gently lift the dough up and form around the inside bottom of the casserole dish. There’s enough butter in this fucker that you won’t need to grease the pan. Using a fork, poke holes liberally around the dough so it doesn’t “poof” up while in the oven.
This is going to go in the preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. This is a rare occasion when we don’t need it to be “golden brown and delicious” we just need it to be slightly cooked and not sticky. You can tell when it’s ready I promise.
Remove the casserole dish from the oven, let cool slightly and then add in the filling.
Starting to look pretty damn good huh?
Next remove the 2nd dough ball from the refrigerator and roll it out just like the bottom crust.
You want to be gentle lifting the rolled dough because this will be the top crust and this is where the finished appearance will come into play. Place the dough over the top of the casserole and press the edges lightly against the side of the casserole dish to seal.
We are now going to want to cut a few slits in the center of the top dough to allow steam to vent. This is where you can get all artistic and shit with your pie.
Notice how I cut the vents to resemble the Bolton Family sigil of the “flayed man.”
No. You are not allowed to start calling me “Hot Pie.” Fuck that.
For your sanity’s sake and for cleanliness sake place the casserole dish on a large baking sheet in case of drippage. There probably will be drippage.
Put the casserole into the 400 oven and it will cook for about 40-45 minutes. NOW you want this to be golden brown and delicious. Check out this delicious creation again.
Now set a timer for 10 minutes and walk away.
Do not cut into this molten hot temperature of Venus delicious looking pie. Save your tastebuds for when it cools down and settles.
Now, you can get a nice scoop of this delicious butter explosion into the serving vessel of your choice. Since this is a single dish meal I just used a bowl so I could lean over it and shovel this stuff into my gob like a goddamn madman.
Pre-cooking the bottom crust means you will have golden, buttery crust in every damn bite. It’s savory with redolent herbal notes from the thyme. Juicy bites of chicken and perfectly cooked potato join in the symphony and carrying it all is the incredible tasty gravy. You can call it “delicious gravy love juice” if you want but I wouldn’t speak that out loud if I was you.
Shitloads of butter? Yes.
Tons of white flour and cream! Goddamn right!
Sinfully delicious and mouthwateringly delightful? Bet your ass!
Do it! Make a pot pie just like Ma used to make.
You know you want this.
Thanks again for reading and if you’re new to the site then welcome. We’re here all year but Sunday Gravy only runs in the offseason.