Old habits die hard, it's been so long since I've posted. I have this post and another one saved up from right after I got back from Paris. But what can you do, I'm human.
I was quite disappointed that I didn't manage to snag le Poulet Roti in Paris. It's usually one of my favorite dishes there, but I was too busy gorging on Steak Frites and Baguettes to squeeze it in this time. When I got back from Paris I realized it was time to really, actually, properly detox from the mindset that I'm on perpetual vacation and that I can't just eat whatever the hell I feel like whenever the hell I feel like it. If you're wondering why there's a butter shortage in England, it's because I ate it all. (Note: there isn't actually a butter shortage in England.) But I did need to start getting a grip.
So I put in a good order to my grocers and had lots of lovely things delivered, and I commenced with making it super easy for me to eat really well for the next week before my next vacation to NYC.
I had a chicken, squash, parsnips, mushrooms and kale (duh) and a pantry full of augmenters, so I was able to throw a whole bunch of things together pretty easily, which is why it's good to have a nicely stocked pantry.
I started with the chicken which I decided to spatchcock roast, which means that you cut out the tailbone and basically lay it flat. It's helps it roast much faster, which leads to juicier meat. I wanted shredded chicken, so this was the best bet for the juiciest morsels. I had a load of mushrooms so I put them on the underneath the rack where the chicken was roasting, which gave them amazing flavor. I wasn't planning on doing anything with the mushrooms immediately, but I do have dreams of smoked salmon and mushroom toasts later on in the week, (post to come.) I only seasoned the chicken with salt because I just wanted it to be perfectly chickeny and nothing else.
Once the chicken was done, I let it rest while I went for a run, and then ripped it to shreds, putting the bones in with all the things needed to make lovely stock and set that to simmer. If you don't make stock with your roast chicken bones, YOU'RE WASTING THE CHICKEN. All opinions in this blog are my own (but seriously it's too easy not to.)
Finally, I folded the rest of the shredded chicken in with roasted butternut squash, parsnips and added a really huge dollop of dijon, a big splash of white wine and two cups of the chicken stock you just made. This simmers together into a silky sauce, and I don't think you miss the heaviness of a bechamel that chicken pies usually have at all. I topped it with puff pastry and baked it off in the oven for about 20 minutes. One afternoon and a week's worth of yummy food made, not a bad use of time.
Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash, Parsnips and Kale
- One chicken, roasted and pulled apart
- 1 onion, diced fine
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1/2 bunch of Lacinato Kale
- three sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- big dollop of dijon mustard
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- big splash of white wine
- puff pastry, thawed and rolled out
Spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the backbone and laying it flat. Rinse the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides liberally with kosher salt. Toss the squash and the parsnips in a bit of olive oil and salt and spread across a baking sheet. Place a metal rack above the squash and then put put the chicken on the metal rack. Roast the chicken for 10 minutes per pound until the chicken juices run clear and the squashes are cooked through. While the chicken is cooking sautee the onions and garlic until they are softened and translucent, then add the stock, wine and dijon.
Let the chicken rest and cool for at least a half and hour, then pull all the skin off, and shred the chicken. In an oven safe baking dish, combine the chicken, squash, onions/garlic and kale, and toss in the sauce. Top the baking dish with the sheet of puff pastry and brush with a bit of beaten egg. Bake at 325F for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.