Saturday, February 6, 2010

Classy Chicken Pot Pie

Elevating a comfort food to gourmet levels is a hot trend that I guess we can attribute to the economy.

This high-falutin' version of chicken pot pie we can definitely attribute to Chef Eric Gabrynowicz at the Tavern at Highlands Country Club in Garrison, N. Y.

"Uncommon pleasure" is how a New York Times reviewer described dining at Tavern, named by Esquire magazine as one of the 20 best new restaurants in the USA.

Try it and let me know how you rate it.

Tavern Chicken Pot Pie

Meat and Stock:
3-4 lb. Chicken
1 stick of butter
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced

2 parsnips
2 carrots
1 medium sized rutabaga
1 cup oyster mushrooms (or whichever type of mushroom you prefer)
1 cup cipollini onion (Vidalia or Walla Wallas would work too)
2 cups chicken stock
4 TBS butter
(This recipe calls for seasonal vegetables. Use the suggested vegetables or 1 cup each of 5 of your favorite vegetables from the farmers market.)  

Bechamel Sauce:
2 quarts roasted chicken stock
1 quart whole milk
1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 lb flour

four sprigs rosemary
Frozen puff-pastry
1 egg
2 tsp. butter

Season the bird with salt, pepper and pat with softened butter. Roast the chicken at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Pull the bird our and let it rest. After resting pull the meat off the bone. In a rondeau (Dutch oven), re-roast the chicken carcass for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Add thyme, one sliced onion, one sliced carrot, and Chicken Broth to cover. Simmer this for 30 minutes. This will give you a nice roasted stock to make the bechamel.
Add the carrots, parsnips and rutabaga to a wide bottom skillet and glaze in butter on medium to high heat with 2 cups chicken stock, adding salt and pepper to taste. Roast the cipollini onions in olive oil in a hot saute pan until caramelized. Finish them in the hot oven for about 5 minutes. Do the same with mushrooms.

To make the bechamel sauce:
Melt 1/2 lb butter and 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saute pan or rondeau and gently add the flour stirring slowly and consistently with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes and pour in the 2 quarts roasted stock and 1 quart milk. Whisk aggressively until smooth. Turn the heat to low and continue to stir and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the pulled chicken and vegetables. Aggressively season with salt and pepper. (The flour and milk will have masked whatever seasonings you added earlier.-) Chop four sprigs of rosemary and saute in 2 Tablespoons butter and add to the mixture.

To finish the dish:
Take mixture of chicken, vegetables and bechamel and pour into a crock. Bake frozen puff pastry brushed with a mixture of one whipped egg with a bit of water on a sheet pan until golden brown. Scoop and serve into desired portions and top with a square cut piece of the baked puff pastry.

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