This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

Last week I did beef pot pies, this week it's chicken. You can make pot pies out of almost anything that you can cook in an iron skillet. All you have to do is put a sheet of puff pastry over the top and put it in the oven. I love that!! here's a few.

Chicken Guiness Pot Pie, serves 8 - this is from Heather Christo who make Allergy Free Recipes

3 large bone on, skin on chicken breasts

¼ cup butter

1 yellow onion, diced

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen pearl onions

1 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 11oz guiness

¼ cup flour

2 cups stock

2/3 cup cream

1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the three chicken breasts on a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for about 40 minutes or until the juices run clear. (leave the oven at 375 degrees)

Let the chicken cool and then removing skin and bones, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and set aside with any juices that have collected on the pan. (you can discard the skin and bones.)

Remove the puff pastry from the freezer, and set it out to thaw while you make the pot pie filling.

In a large iron skillet, melt the ¼ cup butter over medium heat.

Add the onion, sprinkle with a little Kosher salt and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft.

To the butter and onions, add the carrots, celery, potatoes, peas and pearl onions. Sweat for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Add the chicken pieces to the vegetables.

Add the Guiness and let the vegetables and beer sweat for about 5 minutes, until everything is hot and tender.

Add the ¼ cup of flour and stir it into the vegetables. It should absorb some of the beer and butter and will help to thicken the sauce. Cook for about 3-5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Add the 2 cups of chicken stock , the cream and the fresh thyme leaves. Stir the filling and let simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the ready-rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the skillet, rolling it out a little on a lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin if you need to in order for it to cover your dish. Carefully place the pastry lid on top. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, put the skillet on a baking sheet ((less mess)) then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

--

Easy Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili and Cheddar Polenta Pot Pies - This is from Half Baked Harvest

This is not really a pot pie but it looked really good.

INGREDIENTS

4-8 slices thick cut bacon

1 pound boneless chicken breast

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 cup cubed butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes

2 red peppers, chopped

2 Jalapeño's, seeded and chopped, plus more for garnish

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned

green onions, chopped, for serving

POLENTA Recipe:

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill - any cornmeal will work)

6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2-4 tablespoons butter (your preference)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a 12-inch skillet or high sided pan over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and then add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to swirl, add the seasoned chicken and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side. Remove the chicken to a plate with tongs, leaving the oil in the pan. Rest the chicken for a few minutes, and then chop into 1/2-inch cubes or shred with your hands.

To the same pan, add the butternut squash and onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the butternut squash becomes tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the red pepper and jalapeños and cook another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir until the flour dissolves into the vegetables and juices. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste and hot sauce, raise to a simmer, stirring until thickened.

Once the liquid has thickened, stir in the heavy cream and black beans. Season with salt if needed and stir the chicken back into the mixture. Leave it in the skillet and make the polenta.

POLENTA

To make the polenta, pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and beginning to thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in 4 ounces cheddar cheese and butter if using, season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.

Spoon the polenta over the pot pie filling in the skillet and then top with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Place in the skillet in the oven on a baking and bake until the polenta is golden and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the reserved crumbled bacon and green onions.

If you wanted to make this in to a true Pot pie: Cut a ready-rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the skillet, rolling it out a little on a lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin if you need to in order for it to cover your dish. Carefully place the pastry lid on top. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, put the skillet on a baking sheet ((less mess)) then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

==

THe Perfect watch

For some reason about every other year I get the idea that I need a better watch, one that not only tells me the date and time but does other things too. I had one that I really liked for about a week. It told me the altitude and temperature, you really need to know the altitude in Memphis, its 50 (now you know, you don't need the watch). And the temperature was always wrong because the place where the watch took the measurement was right next to my arm. So I knew my arm temperature but not the real temperature. Maybe you're supposed to wear it on the end of a stick.  I had one watch that did 10 different lap times, like I was some kind of Olympic athlete. I went around looking for things to time. I sure wasn't going to time any laps.  My wife bought me one that was a designer watch. It sat up high and looked very cosmopolitan. It was round. A lot of people told me how much they liked it. After 2 weeks I had hit it on so many things that all of the arms that hold it to the band were broken and I was carrying it in my pocket. She sent it back. It turns out that a $29.95 Timex is the perfect watch for me. It does what a watch is supposed to do, that's all. Nothing cute, nothing pretty, nothing I don't need, nothing to show off, don't have to worry about breaking it or losing it. Don't have to keep it in a special place or take it off  to cook or wash dishes. It's with me all the time and it does everything I need it to do.

God's like that: He's not Santa or the tooth fairy, he not a bunch of stuff you don't need, he's God. You don't have to dress up, or keep him in a special place, or get him out when company comes. He's with you all the time, ready to listen, ready to answer.He's not afraid, he's not asleep, he's not offended, you can yell at him. He's much bigger than you can ever imagine and more intimate than your closest friend. He's God.

Maybe I should get one of those GPS watches so I know where I am all the time.. sometimes that's iffy.

Mack


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:00 AM