Chowda and Pie, Comin’ up!

To start…I came across this quote yesterday and just love it…

The pleasures of the table-that lovely old-fashioned phrase-depict food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life. In spite of fad foods, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal.“-Julia Child

And with that, I have some recipes to share with you all.

Yesterday’s post garnered  interest in a good Chicken Pot Pie recipe that I have. It’s from Cooking Light, so it won’t kill you and both old and young around your table will enjoy it.

Chicken and Root Vegetable Potpie

3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cubed, peeled baking potato (sometimes, I use the purple ones!)
1 cup cubed, peeled sweet potato
2 cups cubed, peeled mix of celery root, parsnip or turnip
1 10 oz. package of frozen pearl onions
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken cut into pieces (I only use the natural, no-hormone chicken. Tastes so much better)
2/3 cup (approx) flour, divided
1.5 cups fat-free milk
1.5 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 Tb. fresh thyme
1.5 tsp. salt (kosher tastes much better)
1 tsp. ground pepper
Cooking spray
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 400. Bring broth to a boil in a large, deep pan. Add baking potato and next 4 ingredients (through onions) to pan; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Add chicken, and cook for 5 minutes until chicken is done. Remove chicken and veggies from broth with a slotted spoon, place in a large bowl to hang out for a while. Increase heat to medium.

Place all but 1 Tb. of flour in a medium bowl. Gradually add milk to bowl, stirring with whisk until well blended (no lumps, please). Add milk mixture to broth; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, veggies, peas, herbs, salt and pepper. Spoon this creamy, dreamy mixture into 9 x 13 (ish…can be a little smaller if that’s all you have) baking dish sprayed with the cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining Tb. of flour on work surface, roll out puff pastry big enough to fit on top of baking dish. Place puff pastry on top of baking dish, cut a few little slits in the top and bake for about 16 minutes at 400, until pastry is browned and all the goodness in the dish is bubbling away happily. Serves about 8.

And now…for the Chowda (not Chowder…I’m from New England, thank you very much) recipe that a certain friend from Long Island (“M”…yes, you) requested a while ago. This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and can be made in 30 minutes. No joke. Serve with a salad and broil some baguette slices (coated with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil)…so much better than bland, blonde oyster crackers.

4 (6.5 oz.) cans minced clams
3 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
1.5 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 slices bacon, chopped finely
1 onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste (tread carefully. You’ve got salt in the bacon and the clams/juice)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tb. minced fresh parsley

Heat broth mixture: Drain clams. Reserve juice. Set clams aside. Add bottled juice to reserved juice to measure 5 cups (if shy, just add some water). Bring clam juice, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves to a boil, covered, in a large saucepan. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook until needed in the next step.

Cook bacon and onion: Cook bacon in large, deep pan over medium-high heat until partially rendered. Add onion and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook until softened and slightly browned. About 8 minutes.

Add garlic, flour and broth mixture: Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in broth mixture, scraping up any lovely, browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7-10 minutes.

Add clams, cream and seasonings: Stir in clams, cream and parsley. Return to simmer and cook for 2 more minutes. Off heat, remove bay leaves, season (if needed) with salt and pepper.  Serves 6-8.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy my friends!

3 thoughts on “Chowda and Pie, Comin’ up!

  1. I am going to try and make the chicken pot pie. I have most of the ingredients, however I wills subtitute turkey for the chicken. My biggest problem is making the crust since I have to use gluten free flower, which is really, truly, disgusting to cook with and it tastes bad. I may need to add some extra butter and bacon strips on top, everything tastes better with bacon!

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