Gray Goes Black - Chapter IV

Gray Goes Black - Chapter IV

The final dark happening of the season was by far the most dramatic of all, and even though my role was small in comparison to my sister, it still had a lasting impact on me. It is, after all, the climax of this story, a perpetually more sinister juxtaposition to the image of three boys frightened by a bag of old clothes and a pair of red shoes. When I tell the story, I pull the listener close, regardless of whether it’s an audience of one or ten; as my brow furrows, eyes widen, and normally animated hands become tight and clinched.

Gray Goes Black - Chapter II

Gray Goes Black - Chapter II

“So, yes, there were myriad distractions that probably shifted my attention away from the black happenings in our house; and in hindsight, I probably should have been more cognitive of those indicators; but the later diagnosed “Peter Pan” complex that hovers like sunshine above my life even today, causing as much harm to relationships as good, probably started because I’ve always been easily distracted, and quick to shrug off negative, dark energy. Within a week of the snakes, another strange thing occurred that I had completely forgotten until recently.”

Chicken Pot Pie

Mise en Place.jpg

Cold, dreary Sunday at the end of December beckons for wood crackling in the fireplace, a good book or old movie to cuddle up to, and my take on chicken pot pie - check out this relatively easy recipe that will have your home filled with BOTH literal and metaphoric warmth.

Chicken Pot Pie

6 large chicken thighs, boneless, skinless

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus, 3 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt and black pepper

5 cups chicken stock

12 tablespoons butter

2 yellow onions, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

Chicken Cooks - 2018.jpg

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

4 large carrots, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

2 cups frozen small whole onions

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Crust Topping:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

No Hole Pie.jpg

1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash

salt and cracked black pepper

Technique -

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Rub chicken thighs with olive oil and salt and pepper; heat butter in medium sized cast iron skillet, then sear and cook thighs until golden brown. Remove thighs, allow to cool, then cut into medium sized dice.

In a small sauce pan, warm chicken stock. In the same cast iron skillet, add butter, once melted add onions and cook until translucent De-glaze with white wine, and reduce to half volume; then add flour and cook until onions are completely covered. Next add warm chicken stock, and while simmering incorporate salt, pepper, garlic, and heavy cream; allow to simmer for a couple minutes then gently add chicken, peas, carrots, frozen onions, rosemary and parsley. Allow mixture to rest.

For the crust, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of your Kitchen-aide or food processor - add shortening and butter to flour mixture, and work with your hands until well incorporated. Using paddle or blade attachment, add ice cold water until dough forms. Remove and knead dough ball until round, shiny. Flatten, then allow to chill in fridge for about 15 minutes - longer if you can wait; I couldn’t wait.

Roll into round sheet that is just wide enough to cover skillet with filling, probably 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick - mix egg with cream, then brush atop dough until fully covered. Top with salt and pepper, then bake in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.