Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tarragon Dream!

So, I love pot pies. But it's one of those things that I always felt was a little time consuming and never really had to energy to try to make it from scratch. Sometimes I just have no interest in trying to play around with phillos and Puffs. I was watching Rachael Ray, and she made a chicken pot pie that had guess what? POLENTA for a crust.

DAMN! I fricken LOVE Polenta.

I make it and put sauce on it like pasta and it makes me happy happy happy. So seeing a recipe for a pot pie that not only has a new, delciously intriguing crust on top, but takes less than 45 minutes to make, I realized the time was nie...nye? Sp? anyone? Moving on.

I headed out and got the ingredients for this recipe and it was, seriously, delicious. and hearty. and heart warming. and it made my cheeks dance. And I did it all with an infant in the room. I loved it so much that when I realized at the end of the week that I still had almost all the ingredients still in my fridge I made it again! HEAVEN!

So here it is, I highly recommend you try it out. Rachael Ray's Tarragon Cream Chicken Polenta Pot Pies. Damn!

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with the greens, chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 cup cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking polenta, plus more, if needed*
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, stripped and chopped, 3 to 4 tablespoons
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

In a deep skillet heat 2 turns of the pan extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and lightly brown, 3 minutes, add carrots, onions, and celery as you chop. Season with salt and pepper and cook 10 to 12 minutes to soften.

Preheat broiler. Set rack in middle of oven.

Bring 1 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup cream to a boil, stir in polenta and whisk, 3 minutes. Turn heat low, stir in Gruyere cheese and reserve.

*Cook's Note: You may need up to 3/4 to 1 cup of polenta to fill the tops of your soup bowls or use some more of the remaining stock.

Scoot meat and veggies off to side, melt butter and combine with flour 1 minute. Whisk in 2 cups stock and combine, stir in 1/2 cup cream and bring to a bubble.

Stir in Dijon, tarragon, peas and adjust salt and pepper and transfer to soup bowls. Set soup bowls on baking dish. Form tops to your pot pies with the polenta and cheese mixture. Set under broiler and brown 2 to 3 minutes.

PERSONAL TOUCHES AND NOTES- 1. I used the instant Polenta- it takes 1 minute...not sure if Rachael used it too as she did say instant- but hers takes 3 mins...??? You basically whisk as you pour it into the liquid and it instantly is ready.

2. I used gruyere the first time- it made the meal more expensive weighing in at $8.00 a cup. Second time around I used a mix of mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago, as that's what I had in the fridge. Booyah. It was amazing.

3. I used less celery cause im not a fan of chunks of it cooked and replaced it with more carrots.

4. I only had 2 ramekins and then a small casserole round so I made 2 individual pies and one larger.

There you go ENJOOOOOY IT. Thanks Rachael- you kick serious pot pie innovation ass.
I leave you with this Miles photo of the week- now almost 3 months old, he's smiling and giggling and melting hearts around the world.