Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pot Pie

1/3 to 1/2  cup smoked ham or Canadian bacon, cut in fine pieces ( I used a good handful)
1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 and 1/2 cups chopped veggies (I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, use your favorites)
1 tsp dried thyme
a sprig of chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 and 3/4 cups low salt chicken stock or broth
2 Tablespoons cooking Sherry
2/3 cup crème fraîche
2 and 2/3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
a  pinch of red pepper and two  generous pinches of black
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Saute ham or Canadian Bacon in a bit of bacon grease until the edges are starting to get crisp.  Remove. Saute onion and garlic (adding additional fat if needed)  until tender and golden, about 7 minutes, Add broth, Sherry, thyme and rosemary and bring to low boil over medium/high  heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half stirring constantly. .Add in vegetables the last couple minutes of cooking if raw, or at the very end if already cooked..

Remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche, chicken, ham/bacon, red and black pepper and salt to taste. Add an additional tablespoon of broth or crème fraîche to get the consistency you prefer.  You can  also heat it in the pan once the meat is added to serve over baked potatoes instead of baking in a pie crust.  It's still very good.

Note: crème fraîche can be expensive. To make your own, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate  Keeps about 10 days.

Pastry   - 

2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt3/4 cup cold lard 1/3 cup ice water 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar  Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.

Add the lard and with a blunt knife, cut the lard into small pieces. With 2 blunt knives or a pastry blender, work the lard into the flour until it forms tiny crumbs.

In a small bowl, mix the water and vinegar. Sprinkle the water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to cut the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms large clumps.
Turn them out onto a  (lightly) floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Divide dough into the number of pieces you will use (this makes 2  crusts for a 9 inch or several small ramekin size).Shape each peace into a round flat cake size, wrap in Saran Wrap and put in fridge for 30 minutes.

 Roll the dough into desired shape, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang to shape and crimp the edges.   Bake  at 400 degrees F. 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is starting to bubble up.

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