Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chicken Cobbler with Caramelized Onions

I love pie crust.  I love it so much that I could just like throw a plain pie crust in the oven, bake it, and eat it.  I am very terrible at crust from scratch.  My dear husband assures me that this is not my fault, it is because I don't have a good rolling pin.  Maybe I'll get one soon, I'm not sure.  Also I could just keep buying Pillsbury pie crust, which is very tasty.  This recipe came from the Southern Living cookbook that my mother in law sent me for my birthday.  It is under the heading "Timesaving Chicken Dinners."  That's not true though because this took me a long time.

Chicken Cobbler with Caramelized Onions
1/3 cup butter
2 large sweet onions, diced
1/4 cup flour
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (my wine was SO dry you might say it was nonexistent...)
1 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
15 oz pkg refrigerated pie crusts
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 20 minutes or until caramel colored.  Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Gradually stir in the evaporated milk, chicken broth, and wine (if you're using it...).  Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened (ain't nobody got time for that...I just stirred often).  Add bouillon granules and pepper.  Remove from heat; stir in chicken and parsley.  Pour chicken mixture into lightly greased 10-inch deep dish pie plate.

Unfold/unroll pie crusts.  Sprinkle one pie crust with pecans and parmesan cheese.  Top with remaining pie crust.  Roll into a 14-inch circle; press edges to seal.  Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips.  Arrange strips in lattice design (I will explain how later) over filling, reserving any extra strips.  Fold edges under. 

Bake at 425 for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown (I checked it at 35 and it was too late...quite brown).  Place remaining strips (if you have any; I didn't) on lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with cobbler.

How to make a lattice design, if you don't know:  I had to look this up, because I didn't know and I was giving myself a headache trying to figure it out.  A few years ago my mom got my sister and I each a Taste of Home Best of Everything (pretty much, I'm paraphrasing here) cookbook, and it has been a helpful resource for things like this.  So here's how you do it:  Using longer strips for the middle of the pie, and shorter strips for the ends, place strips on pie 1/2 inch to 3/4 inches apart (I used 5 strips for this step).  Fold every other strip halfway up the middle (sorry I have no picture to demonstrate).  Starting in the middle, place a long strip at a right angle to the ones that are there.  Fold down the strips you folded up.  Now fold up the strips you didn't use the first time.  Place another strip of pie crust, then fold them down.  Now the opposite.  And so on, switching to the second half of the pie when the first half is done.  Clear as mud, right?

So now the verdict.  I enjoy making things like this once in a while.  It's fun to see if I can follow the directions and get it right.  But when something is this much work, I want it to taste fabulous.  And this wasn't fabulous.  It was good, but not fabulous.  The crust was great, even if it was a bit too brown.  When I placed the strips on the pie, quite a bit of the pecan/cheese mixture did spill out the sides (predictable, since there was nothing in the crust to make them stick...maybe an egg wash would work?) but not so much that there was nothing left.  I guess the filling was just good, not great.  Nathan only liked the chicken, and meticulously picked out any onions he could see.  The onions were good, of course, but the whole mixture wasn't fabulous.  I wanted to take a bite and say WOW.  Most of the wow factor was in how it looked, which I was very pleased with.  So while I will remember this crust technique for another time, I won't be making this combination again.  It was fun though.

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