Day #6: When All Else Fails Turn It Into A Casserole

Chicken Pot Pie 

What better way to celebrate Christmas that with Chicken Pot Pie! Since my family has never been big on making turkey dinner and because I was in charge of cooking this year, this seemed like a tasty choice that didn’t require quite as much effort as an entire turkey dinner. It is also a great way to practice the roux from yesterday.

What makes this recipe more difficult is that it consists of two components: the pie filling and the pie crust. Both components require effort and care.

I have never made a pie crust in my life and as many cooks will tell you baking is a lot more tricky than cooking. In order to prepare I watched some videos on Youtube. It is possible to purchase pre-made pie crust or pre-made pie crust dough. However, since I have been trying to make as much as I can from scratch, I made the crust.

Pie Filling Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all- purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups turkey or chicken (bite sized pieces)
1 1/2 cups carrots (bite sized pieces)
2 medium potatoes (peeled & bite size pieces)
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)

Directions found at Inspired Craft Ideas.

Pie Crust Recipe 

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening (chilled)
4-8 teaspoons ice cold water

Directions found on Crisco’s website or on any Crisco box.

Edible?

Was it edible? Yes, it turned out great. Was it a pie? No.

The filling turned out well. The roux turned out well and so did the sauce.. I was getting impatient so I actually cooked it over medium heat.

Delicious pie filling
Delicious pie filling

The pie crust was a completely different story. On my first attempt, the crisco was at room temperature and the dough was extremely flaky. After refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes, it was still flaky so I added more water. It then became a sticky sodden mess that could not be rolled out.

On my second attempt, I used crisco that had chilled in the refrigerator for 30 mins. Everytime I added a teaspoon of water, I mixed the flour as thoroughly as I could with the objective of getting as much as I could to form into a ball of dough before adding another teaspoon of water. After the dough had refrigerated for 30 minutes, I tried to roll it out. I found that regardless of how much I floured the rolling pin, the dough still stuck to it. As I was rolling it out, the dough kept breaking and I thought it best to stop rolling. At that point I did not have enough dough to make a pie crust at the top and bottom of my 8″x 8″ baking pan. So I decided to just cover the top and call it a casserole. I feel that this philosophy could be applied to all cooking: When all else fails, make it into a casserole.

I believe that my crust may have been a bit too thick, the crust took a while to bake through ( a few minutes longer than the recipe indicated). Next time, I will try to make a thinner pie crust so it is easier to determine when the crust has cooked through.

A very butchered pie crust
A very butchered pie crust

 

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