Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bucket (or Birthday) List includes old-fashioned favorite with healthy veggies inside

If Hubby had a Last Meal plugged into his bucket list, it would, of course, be Chicken Pot Pie. So in planning what dish would be a fitting finale to his birthday “season” which concluded this week with, finally, the Big Day, the choice was a no-brainer—Chicken Pot Pie, except this time I went for the gold. Southern Living recently featured a pot-pie recipe that was to be cooked “Mama’s Way”—usually this means from scratch as opposed to “Your Way”, which might contain convenience foods and other time-savers to prepare the recipe. Mama’s Way was a little time-consuming but worth it.

It involved making a two-crust pie crust recipe (my standby, “Easy Pie Crust” from my Way Back in the Country cookbook). With this ready I prepared the stuffing: leeks sauted in butter and then removed, with flour and broth added to the base to make a creamy sauce. Into the sauce went matchstick carrots, the sautéed leeks, shredded chicken, fresh parsley, and frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers. Once the top pastry crust was added and edges sealed and fluted, a wash of egg and water was brushed on the top to ensure good browning. Headed into the oven the pot pie looked as though it had the potential for being awesome, but time (almost a full hour of baking, actually) would tell.

All I can say is, Hubby was one happy camper when the entree for his Birthday Supper was brought forth and set in front of him. He’d never had a Chicken-Pot Pie that called for leeks and fresh parsley; he believed that these definitely made the difference in creating a tasty pie.

Hubby was ready to turn 65 all over again just so he could have this dish. Dynamite!

Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pie

1/2 cup butter
2 medium leeks, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth (or homemade broth)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers
1 cup matchstick carrots
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
ingredients for 1 (2-crust) pie recipe
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter; add leeks, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients. Roll out pie crust; fit 1 crust into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into pastry. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under, and press with tines of a fork to seal. Whisk together egg (or egg substitute) and water; brush over top of pie. Bake at 375 degrees on lower oven rack for 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand 15 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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