chicken pot pie

Chicken Pot Pie

 [ filling ]
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups cut carrots
2 1/2 cups cut potatoes
3 tablespoons flour
32 oz chicken broth
24 oz cream of chicken soup
1 cup half & half
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt *
1/4 tsp cayenne *
rotisserie chicken
frozen peas 

in a large pot, melt your butter then add in onions. cook onions until tender then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. then add in your carrots and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes stirring often. add in thyme, sea salt and cayenne (last time i added a little paprika as well). cook for about 3 minutes then add flour and cook another minute and make sure everything is evenly mixed. slowly add in broth, then the cream of chicken soup, then your half & half. cook for about 20 - 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. add your pieces of rotisserie chicken at the end.

  [ crust ]
2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup ice cold water

you will also need a food processor

you want your butter to be very cold, you may want to place it in the freezer for a minute before starting. combine the flour, thyme, oregano, and sea salt in a bowl. combine 1/2 of the flour and 1/2 of the butter in the food processor and pulse the ingredients until the combine into a flaky mixture, then slowly add a tsp or two of water and pulse until the mixture combines into a doughy mass. you may need to add a little more water if your mixture is still very dry and not starting to form into a ball. take the dough out and form into a ball in your hand. then do the other 1/2. let the dough set for at least 1 hour in the fridge before using. 

this makes about 4 chicken pot pies. fill ramekins with filling and add a couple frozen peas if you like. stretch dough out to be larger than ramekin bowl then place over the ramekin. you want it to go over the sides some but not too much. sometimes if the dough is too thick or hangs over the sides too much the weigh of the dough could make it fall off into the oven while cooking. poke holes in the top of the dough so the filling can vent. i like to poke holes in the initial of the person that pot pie is for. then place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and cook for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the crust is a gold brown. it is best to place the ramekin on a plate so it easier to serve, make sure to warn everyone that it will be extremely hot!

[ how things really look ]


the baker's chicken and dumplings

over my past year and a half here in los angeles the baker family [jesse, kim, jess, and lauren] have welcomed me and treated me like family. they jokingly call me their long lost 3rd daughter. kim cooked this for me soon after i arrived in los angeles, and any other time she called and said she had a pot of chicken and dumplings on the stove i immediately got ready to rush over there! this meal will always remind me of them and the warmth they have extended to me. 

The Baker's Chicken and Dumplings

32 oz chicken broth
32 oz vegetable broth
4 - 6 chicken thighs with bones and skin
4 cups water plus 6 cups later
2 tbsp paprika (approx, better to add more because this really makes the flavor of the broth)
sea salt 
1/2 tsp white pepper (approx)
1 - 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (approx)
1/4 cup half & half

3 cups bisquick
1 1/4 cup broth
1 - 2 tbsp half & half
sea salt
white pepper
fresh ground pepper

combine chicken broth, vegetable broth, 4 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil then add chicken thighs. add paprika, sea salt, white pepper and fresh ground pepper and cook for 1 hour.

remove chicken thighs and 1 1/4 cup of broth

combine bisquick, broth, 1 - 2 tbsp of half & half, and seasonings in a mixing boil. try to knead the dough as little as possible. Roll out dough into a thin sheet then cut in squares.

once the chicken has cooled enough, de-bone your chicken. add the additional 6 cups of water to the broth, bring to a boil, add back chicken and then start dropping in the dumplings one at a time. add 1/4 cup half & half and cook for 20 minutes or until dumplings are done. usually the dumplings will start to fall apart a little, this is good and should thicken the broth but make sure they don't disintegrate completely or stick to the bottom of the pot.


crab stuffed cannelloni

Crab Stuffed Cannelloni

fresh spinach (about 1 bag)
1/2 lb lump crabmeat
cannelloni pasta
sea salt
3/4 cup half & half

01 : boil a large pot of water with some salt in it and drop the cannelloni in for just 3 - 5 minutes until it is rubbery

02 : saute spinach in a pan with just a little butter or olive oil

03 : mix spinach, ricotta, and crabmeat with a sprinkle of sea salt and cayenne in a bowl

04 : stuff cannelloni with crab mixture

05 : in the pan you used for the spinach, use about a tbsp of butter and once its melted pour in half & half. add a little salt and cayenne to your liking and cook until the mixture thickens slightly. it should stick to the side of the pan and the spoon a little.

06 : place stuffed cannellonis in a baking pan and pour sauce over them, sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes 



made a quick one night trip to ojai over the holiday weekend. the drive up there was beautiful and we had a good time walking around the quiet town. they are very pet friendly as well, Oscar went everywhere with us.