Now that I’ve published my first cookbook: “COOKING: IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE” I no longer have to rush to my computer that sits just off my kitchen or scroll through my Dropbox of recipes when buying ingredients for whatever I’m concocting. The cookbook sits on my countertop, ready to guide me through, even though I’ve prepared the recipes a zillion times. (An unabashed plug: click on the picture below to link to Amazon!)
I decided to work my way through my own book, and having leftover Costco chicken, I turned to one of my favorites: Chicken Pot Pie. It starts with savory pastry dough.
Mise en Place:
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 large eggs, whisked
300 grams all-purpose flour, plus extra for bench
½ teaspoon sea salt, “fine grain” if you can find it
1 teaspoon baking powder
225 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter. Chilled. Cut into pea-sized pieces, and chilled again until used.
1 egg, whisked, for egg wash
UTENSILS AND TOOLS:
Fork or small whisk
Paring knife to cut butter and crust
This recipe takes several hours to prepare before actually baking it. Most of
that time is spent in the refrigerator!
Eggs. Whisk eggs together in medium bowl.
Flour. Salt. Baking Powder. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 times to mix.
Butter. Add half the butter pieces. Pulse 3 times. Add the rest of the butter then pulse again 3 times.
Eggs. Add the two whisked eggs to processor. On low power or pulsing, blend until the dough looks like oatmeal crumbs.
Extra Flour. Splash a little of the extra flour on the bench.
Remove the dough from the food processor and place on bench. If necessary, tip the food processor bowl onto the bench and remove the blade.
Press the loose dough together with your hands. Don’t get too energetic because the longer you handle the dough, the tougher it becomes. Form a ball, and with a knife, cut the ball in two. Pat the balls into two flat disks and wrap each with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Prepare the filling.
AFTER ONE HOUR: BOTTOM CRUST:
Flour. Dough. Remove one disk from the refrigerator. Let it sit for a few minutes (5-10.)
Flour the bench and sprinkle a little on the dough. Press the dough into the shape you want it, and then gently roll from the bottom third to the top third. Don’t roll to the edges. (This seals the edges.) Keep turning the dough as you roll.
If you’re making four pies, cut the disc into four pieces, and then roll each one individually.
Wrap the dough over the rolling pin to remove it from the bench and place it in a baking dish. Use your fingers or a wad of dough to pat into place. Avoid fingernails cutting into dough.
Place the baking dish or the four pie tins containing the bottom crust into the refrigerator while the filling cools. When cool, fill the pie dish or pie tins.
Flour. Dough. Flour the bench. Remove the second disk from the refrigerator. Either use it whole or cut into four pieces for individual pies.
Roll the dough into the shape you want for the top crust. Don’t roll to the edges.
Remove the pie dish or tins from the refrigerator.
Whisked Egg Wash. Swab the edges of the bottom crust with the egg before adding top crust.
Dough. Wrap the rolled dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the top of your baking or pie dish.
When both crusts are together, trim the edges with a scissor or knife, and crimp or press down with tines of a fork. Chill all for another hour before baking.
Whisked Egg Wash. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to egg wash the top of the pie and then place on baking tray. If you want to get fancy, decorate the top. Bake for about thirty minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool for ten minutes before cutting into it and letting the creamy chicken and vegetables ooze out onto your plate!
Next: How about a Strawberry Roulade? Or a mango cake? Stay tuned!