Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Rainy Day

It’s raining in Zaq. I think it’s because spring is here and that’s what it does during spring, rain. But hey, what do I know? I am from Alaska. We have winter and construction.

At any rate, rain means staying inside. A hard feat to do when you have been cooped up all winter, but their ain’t no helping it. Azerbaijanis aren’t real rain people either, so that means almost everything comes to a stand still.

So, with it pouring outside, I fall back on my old stand-by: cooking. Yesterday, I showed my sitie how to make chicken pot pie (she had never had the stuff before). We then invited my friend Könül over and made her try the pot pie. Who knew pies came in savory flavors too?

Classic Chicken Pot Pie (omitting celery because celery does not exist in Az)

Prepare a delicious and flaky pie dough (my suggestion: 12 Tbs butter, cubed and refrigerated until ready to use. 2 & 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp sugar. Lightly pulse together. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Remove blades and add 2 Tbs iced water. Combine with a fork. Continue adding 1 Tbs ice water until mixture begins to hold shape. Remove from mixer and press together. Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate for at least 1 hour).

Next, cube up 1 medium potato, 1 medium carrot and 1 small onion. Drain 1 cup peas and 1 cup corn and set aside [in a large bowl]. Liberally season both sides of 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken with salt & pepper (I used a seasoning salt). Set aside. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbs olive oil. Add veggies and saute until almost tender. Remove and add to peas and carrots. In the same pan, add another 1 Tbs olive oil and brown chicken on both sides. Add 1 & 1/2 cup chicken broth and cover. When chicken is cooked through (about 8 minutes) remove chicken and set aside. In remaining liquid, add 4 Tbs butter and whisk in 1/2 cup flour. When smooth, add in 3/4 cup milk and season with salt & pepper. Remove from heat and add to peas and carrots. Dice chicken and add to veggie mixture. Gently combine.

Now, make a pie. Roll out bottom pie crust and press into pie pan. Add filling and seal with top pie crust. Cut slits and place on a cookie sheet. Brush with egg or butter and bake in a 375 degree oven (I am guessing at the temperature here) until pie crust is brown and delicious looking. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice it up and enjoy.