This week we made Paula Deen’s Chicken Pot Pie. It tasted fantastic, but the experience was a total disaster. It went a little like this:
5:30pm: Matt suggests that we start putting things together for the meal and Shannon thinks that this is a great idea (and that maybe Liam will get to eat some with us if we finish quickly enough). Matt pulls all the meat off the rotisserie chicken we used (somehow I doubt Paula Deen would have batted an eye at the fact that I didn’t actually buy and roast an entire chicken, but who knows) while I pull together the ingredients for the crust (which I felt shamed into making because of the number of times I’ve caught it from Lynne over the fact that I’ve never made a pie crust). I start going through drawers looking for my pastry blender only to find I don’t have one (apparently what I was picturing was my mother’s- oops). We decide that we’ll just make a quick trip to the Publix to pick up “real” cream of celery soup (apparently I committed a faux pas by purchasing the 98% fat free version) a pastry blender and a pastry cutter (which according to Matt is what makes the edges look pretty–but I’ve never seen one before so I just trust him and off we go).
5:45pm: Leave for Publix.
6:08pm: Discover that Publix has neither the pastry blender nor the pastry cutter.
6:10pm: Leave Publix for Kroger to try again.
6:25pm: Discover that Kroger doesn’t have cutters or blenders either.
6:30pm: Pull in our driveway as Liam yells out “Garage! Garage!”
6:32pm: After a brief discussion in the car we head out to the Target to try one more time to find the cutter and the blender. Liam is confused.
6:50pm: Discover that Target has both a pastry cutter and blender!
7:00pm: Pull in the driveway again–this time victorious.
7:07pm: I pull out the flour to begin what has become a slightly intimidating pastry recipe. Here I am (notice the smile–which was to be short-lived):
Then I looked inside:
In case you wondered–no–those flecks in the flour aren’t because it’s whole grain. We had worms. In the flour.
7:13pm: I make yet another trip to the Publix while Matt feeds Liam an exceptionally late dinner.
7:35pm: I return home from the Publix with a fresh bag of flour. In case you’re keeping track: we’re now 2 hours into making dinner and have yet to actually make anything.
7:40pm: I start sifting the ingredients for the crust together in what turns out is the world’s WORST sifter. It’s not a hand crank like my mom’s, it’s the kind where you pull the grip repeatedly to (supposedly) sift everything out the bottom.
7:45pm: I hand the sifter over to Matt hoping that he’ll have better luck since in five minutes I’ve sifted out approximately 2 TBS worth of the 3 cups of flour that are inside.
7:53pm: Matt begins to curse and I pull out the mesh colander to finish the job (which works pretty well, actually) while he tries to extract what’s left of the flour, salt, and baking powder mixture out of the Sifter Of Death.
8:00pm: We finally finish sifting and removing ingredients from the crappy sifter and Matt goes to get Liam ready for bed while I begin to blend the Crisco into the flour mixture.
8:13pm: Matt returns from putting Liam down and I’m still trying to achieve the “small-pea-sized” pellets that are supposed to form in what one would assume would be a reasonable amount of time.
8:14pm: My arm is tired and my patience is worn down and I declare that I am not (as I suspected all along) a pastry maker. I hand the bowl over to Matt and I begin to chop and mix the other ingredients together in the saucepan.
8:30pm: I’m finished with the mixing and Matt is at the rolling out stage of the pastry making process.
8:31pm: I pull out the goat cheese to soften and pour the wine as it had become very clear that we are going to need to have an appetizer if we intend to make it to the end of this recipe without passing out from sheer hunger.
8:32pm: Matt begins by flouring the counter and rolling pin and he’s off to the races.
8:45pm: Matt has two nearly-perfect rectangles ready to make the bottom and top of the pot pie.
8:46pm: Matt attempts to remove the first pastry rectangle from the counter. It’s stuck.
8:47pm: He thinks maybe he can salvage it by being very careful. It’s really stuck.
8:48pm: Matt re-flours the counter and begins the process again.
9:15pm: The pot pie is finally ready to go in the oven:
(and yes–that is MY husband’s beautiful lattice work!)
9:16pm: The pot pie is in the oven and we head downstairs to watch Project Runway while eating goat cheese for the 45 minutes it takes to bake.
10:01pm: The timer goes off. We run upstairs to look at our creation. It’s supposed to be golden brown but even after turning up the temperature on our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad oven it’s clearly not golden brown. It’s not pork, though, so we have hope and set the timer for 5 more minutes and head back downstairs.
10:06pm: We come back upstairs. We’re very hopeful. The pastry is still depressingly pale. We set the timer for another 5 minutes and turn the oven up another 15 degrees and go downstairs again.
10:11pm: Back upstairs. Pastry’s still mostly pale. We give up and decide that we need to learn to accept the pot pie’s imperfections and love it as it is:
Matt, full of pride and pastry prowess:
We’re finally finished! Hey–it’s a reasonable dinner time on the West Coast…
The pot pie was absolutely delicious. Next week our recipe will be a bit less involved (and I’ll check for all necessary implements and make sure there are no worms in the ingredients…).