Friday, February 12, 2010

Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie

pot pie

Guys. This weekend was so good. Our plans to have a low-key Valentine's meal on Saturday turned into a surprise dinner party, as my husband had secretly invited over two very good friends (friends that, I might add, brought lobster to accompany our already glamorous meal of scallops and glazed carrots - do we have great friends or what?).

I'm still talking about that meal. My husband's best bud is a chef at the Ritz in St. Louis, and went along with the surprise by supplying my husband with a recipe for lobster and scallops with a citrus beurre blanc sauce, with glazed carrots and red bliss potatoes. Drool. I really need to share that carrot recipe with you, because, as someone who has never really been thrilled about carrots, I would eat carrots every day if they always tasted that good.

But instead, I brought you a recipe for Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie, from a December version of Bon Appetit. I made this cozy, hearty dish on Friday night, knowing full well that it's an extremely yummy meal, but also was going to be quite humble when compared to our dinner plans the following evening. And I was ok with that, because, well...this pot pie is just really good.

One note: make sure you splurge for the golden raisins. They make all the difference.

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Morrocan Chicken Pot Pie
Bon Appetit, December 2007

1-1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut up into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon
3 tbls butter
1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup imported green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 refrigerated pie crust (I made my own, because I'm weird like that...recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix chicken cubes with paprika, cumin, and cinnamon in large bowl to coat. Sprinke chicken generously with salt and pepper. Cut lemon in half; remove seeds. Using a small spoon, scoop out enough pulp and juice from between membranes to measure 2 tablespoons. Add to chicken mixture; stir to blend.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, olives, and raisins. Saute until onion is almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken mixture and stir 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over; stir 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer filling to 9-inch diameter deep-dish glass pie dish.

Place pie crust over dish and seal dough edges to rim of dish. Using small paring knife, cut several slits in pie crust. Bake pot pie until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 20 minutes.

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My mother-in law's No Fail Pie Crust
(makes two)

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tblp white vinegar

Blend flour, salt, baking powder, and shortening with a pastry cutter until pea-sized pieces form. Beat one egg in a cup and add vinegar. Add enough cold water to egg mixture to equal 3/8 cup. Add egg mixture to flour mixture by hand. Divide dough into two equal portions.

You can either roll it out between wax paper and use it now, or gather it up into a flattened disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer for later.

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