Monday, February 20, 2012

Who needs the crust? We made pot pie stew y'all!

The culinary world seems to have come to an almost full circle. Because of the enormity of success and exposure chefs and funky restaurants are getting these days, mainly due to way too many TV shows dedicated to exploiting them, a lot of talented cooks and restauranteurs are going back to their roots for innovative menu items.

A big deal of late, thanks in much to possum quaffed Paula Deen (hence me saying “y'all” in the header), is taking comfort food and spinning it around, just enough where you get the essence of the dish but are still scratching your dome and going “I thought they said this was nachos.” You can only go so far, in my teeny tiny lil opinion, until you loose sight of the dish and you wind up with a truffle oiled, ramps and lardon laden take on mac 'n cheese. Just give me some fxxking mac 'n cheese bud. If I want, I'll add chopped hot dogs on it later. 


In this tradition of slapping up, flipping, rub'n it down (Oh no!) “reimagining” of classic comfort food dishes, She-Ra and I have found something that is not only super tasty, but really easy, quite healthy and easy on your wallet.

We made chicken pot pie stew.

Now, I know what you're thinking, not the most 'out there' thing you've heard of in the last few years or, heck, maybe you've even tried and made it yourself, but take it from us if you want a hearty and healthy option to the traditional gloopy and carb loaded chicken pot pie, then keep reading because have we got a savory recipe for you.

Okay. You will need:

2 TBSP butter

1 yellow or white onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic

Cup of crimini or white mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

Cup of frozen peas

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 to 2 (depending on size) russet potato, chopped

1 ½ cup low fat milk

2 cups of warmed up low sodium chicken broth

¼ cup flour

2 cups of chopped or pulled chicken, either rotisserie from your local market or slow cooked

Salt, pepper and season to taste

I'm gonna be honest here, She-Ra and I came up with a variety of spices and seasoning that I wont go into here because, well, this just might end up as a future menu item. So I'll leave you to discover and alchemy on your own.

First off you want to heat the butter in a pot or large saute pan over medium heat. We used a pot for ours because we always make enough soup or stew to feed a small battalion of midget vikings. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and the others softened up a bit. About 5 to 10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and keep on stirring. After stirring for about 5 minutes, add the cooked chicken and flour. Be sure you are using a wooden spoon here because, well, not only do you not want to scrape the pan or pot but you want to ensure the chicken and veggies are perfectly coated with the flour.

Once your satisfied with your coating with flour abilities, slowly pour in the chicken broth (which you can heat up in the microwave for like a minute or so) using a whisk to avoid that rotten and annoying clumping that occurs when using flour. That's why you want the broth to be warmed up, see, it helps smooth out the sauce. Once everything is incorporated, slowly whisk in the milk and simmer for at least 15 to 20 minutes, at least until the sauce has thickened and clings to the other ingredients. Once its done that, add the peas and season it up to your hearts content. Keep tasting as you add and simmer. Remember: You can always add but you can never take away when you cook. Like too much salt. Ugh, ease up on that stuff will ya?

Let this simmer over a low heat for a while, until the wafting smell of awesomeness is too much to take and ladle it into bowls. We like to serve ours with some good crusty bread. Eat up and enjoy!

This is an economical and fun recipe now that winter is waning yet I know some of you in Northern territories are getting hit with some gnarly chill. I mean, you can add this into puff pastry but this recipe cuts the carbs and calories down considerably and that's kinda what its all about.

Of course, we still served ours with some bread. But it was really good bread. C'mon. I'm only human.

Have fun!

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