Monday, February 20, 2012

Mom's Chicken Pot Pie

This is just a simple homemade chicken pot pie recipe from my mother with a few variations. The mushroom, sherry and fresh parsley make this something I'd be happy to serve  to company. My mother would add her own pie crust or buttermilk biscuits, but I had an emergency crust in the freezer and it was time to use it. I also relied on store-bought gravy, but that's something Mom would use in a pinch, too. For the chicken, I broke down a whole chicken I'd roasted earlier in the week, but you could substitute leftover chicken breasts or even a rotisserie chicken from the market. I'll tell you one thing, though; after eating this, you'll never again want to taste a frozen pot pie.

Betty's Chicken Pot Pie

2-4 cups cubed chicken

4 medium potatoes, diced

3 stalks of celery, sliced

4 large carrots, halved and sliced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

3 tablespoon rough chopped fresh parsley

2 cups or half a bag frozen pearl onions

1 cup frozen petite peas

2 jars chicken gravy

2 heaping Tablespoons stone-ground or grain brown mustard

2 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons sherry

Chop chicken meat and place in large mixing bowl.

Put saucepan with water on stove, and start prepping veggies, beginning with potatoes.
Cook potatoes in water until fork tender. Put onions and peas in bottom on colander. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon, and place in colander to drain over and defrost frozen vegetables. Place sliced carrots in water, and cook until they too are fork tender.

Meanwhile, in frying pan, melt butter. Saute mushrooms in batches in pan, making sure each slice has complete contact with pan to get nicely browned on both sides. When all mushrooms are browned, remove, and add celery, cooking until wilted. Add mushrooms, add sherry wine, and cook until liquid is reduced slightly.

Add vegetables, parsley, mustard and gravy to bowl with chicken. Salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. 

Place mixture in large casserole dish. Carefully center pie crust on top, and tuck the edges under to make a rustic presentation. Prick crust with fork. Bake 40 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and crust in browned nicely.

I serve this with cornbread. Saturday night, we all took second helpings!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Writing advice

Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

Never use a long word where a short one will do.

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

Never use the passive where you can use the active.

Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday British equivalent.

Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbaric.

--George Orwell