Sunday, October 11, 2009

It must be Fall...

...because I'm craving apple desserts and chicken pot pie. My mother loved this time of year. So many of my fall recipes have come through her or remind me of her. Even my treasured recipe for chicken pot pie reminds me of her. I never made it for her, but I always wanted to. When I was a kid I remember she bought us frozen Marie Callendar pot pies, baked them in the oven, and set one down in front of each of us. I hated it. I was like, "You like this?" Then I discovered Martha's genius recipe with fresh thyme in the crust and I was converted. The cake recipe is one of my favorites and I first tasted it at my mom's house years ago after her friend Suzy left some with her after a party or something. I LOVE this cake. This time I tried making it in a bundt pan and was happy with the results. Both the cake and the chicken pot pie recipes have been blogged here before, but I think it's appropriate that the best ones make repeat appearances.


Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from Martha

I added zucchini this time (replacement for the mushrooms). I chopped 1/2 of a large zucchini to the same size as the potatoes, and added them with the carrots and leeks. Delicious!
  • 3 or 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 rib celery, cut into thirds
  • 2 cup plus 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks plus 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium leek, white and light-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and washed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 ounces button mushrooms, quartered if large (these get left out for Bobby's sake in my pie)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


  1. Combine chicken, chicken stock, yellow onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, 3 thyme sprigs, and celery in a stockpot, and add enough water just to cover the chicken. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  2. Pick enough thyme leaves to make 3 tablespoons. Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoon thyme leaves in the bowl of a food processor, and set remaining 2 tablespoons thyme aside. Add 2 1/2 sticks chilled butter cut into small pieces, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. While the food processor is running, add 6 tablespoons ice water and 2 egg yolks, and process until the dough holds together. Divide dough in half and flatten into two discs. Wrap well in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Drain chicken, and reserve the stock. Shred the chicken into bite-size strips, and set aside. Strain the stock, and set aside 2 cups. Reserve the remaining stock for another use.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add red potatoes, cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to turn golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add leeks, carrots, and mushrooms, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Add the remaining 7 tablespoons flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in reserved chicken stock and milk, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved chicken pieces, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons thyme, lemon zest, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and the ground pepper; transfer to two pie dishes. Set aside.
  5. Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick, and transfer to a baking sheet. Allow to chill 15 minutes. Make an egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining yolk and heavy cream. Working quickly, place the dough over the top of the chicken mixture, and tuck extra dough around the edges. Cut slits on top to allow steam to escape. Brush with the egg wash, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot. Freeze one pie before baking for later if you like. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil and use within a month.

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Are you hungry yet?

Butterscotch-Topped Gingerbread Cake with Sauteed Apples

For the butterscotch:
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 c packed brown sugar

For the cake:
2 3/4 c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs ground ginger
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup molasses
1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 large eggs

For the topping:
3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs sugar
1 3/4 lbs. Apples, peeled, sliced

Butter and flour sides but not bottom of 9 inch round pan. 3 inches deep.

Make butterscotch: in a small saucepan melt 6 Tbs butter and sugar together, stirring for a smooth mixture. Pour it into the cake pan and swirl it to coat the bottom. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Put water on to start boiling. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, singer, cinnamon, and cloves, and set aside. Using paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. With a fork, stir in 1 tsp of the baking soda vigorously into the molasses until the molasses has lightened somewhat and has changed in texture. This can take a minute or two. Add the molasses to the butter-sugar mixture and mix on medium until completely combined. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the boiling water. On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the water to the butter mixture. Finally add the eggs one at a time, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be very thin. Bake until the center of the cake is spriny and a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and invert cake onto a serving plate. Let cool an hour before serving. Just vbfore serving, saute apples in butter and sugar mixture. Top cake with warm apples and serve with whipped cream.


jayne said...

Oh man. I LOVE that chicken pot pie. Best I've ever tasted. Wish I was closer so i could come snag your leftovers for tomorrows lunch. You are only 3 hours away.....maybe i should make the trip?! It would be totally worth it!

Marci said...

Martha who? katherine you are so rad and the goods you make, delish. how do you keep the baby weight off, tell me your secret.

Sara said...

wow your cooking always amazes me. makes our dinner of soup and sandwiches look like pig slop -- haha!

Betsy said...

All i have to say is wow! All of this looks amazing!

April Henderson said...

You even make brussel sprouts look good. You are amazing!!!!

Anita said...

Woman, you food always makes me so hungry and it looks so YUMMY. Congrats on the baby news.

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