Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carla Hall's Smothered Lemon Chicken with Peas and Carrots 9.28.11

See the Turkey in the middle???

How about the Turkey and Hearts...

There was a quick aside comment on Day 3 of the chew while Carla was making her recipe that this was a deconstructed pot pie.

So, very simply, I grabbed a couple of cookie cutters, a sheet of Puff Pastry and (at 350 degrees) in 16 minutes, I had the makings of an actual deconstructed Pot Pie!

I did select the Turkey as this is a terrific idea for a Thanksgiving Turkey leftover dish.  As well as a rotisserie chicken recipe.  Sure the recipe calls for chicken, but no reason you can't just sub some turkey leftovers.

As to the show (The Chew)... This comes from day three of the show.  And, by far, the best show of the series.  Instead of the ridiculous pace of 5 recipes a show, we were treated to a multi part interview and recipe from Joy Behar (Lasagna).  For what it's worth, in my opinion, The multi segment gives enough time to enjoy the recipe and see the personality of the cook.  Sure, this was a guest star, but it is time to get to know the cast better.

But I digress...

But before I get to the recipe, I will try to justify my point... With this recipe.  This would have been a perfect opportunity to start a Cooking 201 series.  Not just a list of recipes that come together fast and easy, but get deeper into the more advanced basics.

Like gravy.

During the cooking demo, Carla kept talking about white gravy and milk gravy.  She also was adding flour at different stages with no explanation of why flour, what it did, and why she added some early and at the end.  Gravy is not terribly complicated, but it can be a make or break ingredient for a dish.

Again, just my opinion, but I sure do recall the first time I made gravy.  With the fast pace of the show, I think I would have been intimidated by this recipe without some experience (or more details on the show).

But, I do make gravy, and I was excited to make this recipe...

Since just the day before I had bought about 4 1/2 pounds of chicken!  At an INCREDIBLE price.  I am cheap.  Actually, I am very cheap.  I live on a budget, spending a limit of $100 a week on food.  I always shop sales, and take advantage with a freezer full of what was on sale last week, month (and sometimes longer).

Took a little extra work, as Carla's recipe called for boneless skinless.  These were bone in, skin on, which is actually much better, holds the flavor in, keeps the moisture in and the bone adds to the taste.  It was a simple matter of pulling the meat from the bone and discarding the skin.  $0.89 cents VRS a sale price of $2.25 a pouind, I can remove the bone and skin myself.

I made enough of the Puff Pastry cookies to line the bottom of a plate/bowl, and a few extras for the top to complete the deconstructed "pretty" presentation.

Click this photo to see THE CHEW's website link to
Carla Hall's Smothered Lemon Chicken with Peas and Carrots

I followed the recipe as I saw on the show... printed HERE.  In the photo above, you do not see much white gravy.  At that stage, I added more flour which made the gravy thicker and the color whiter.

I also started tasting.  It needed pepper.

So, with those two changes, and the extra little fun presentation, I LOVED THIS!  Garlicky, Lemony, rich thick white gravy and a hint of tarragon and thyme makes this a wonderful dish.  Perfect for a family and even better when you remember this for Christmas, Thanksgiving leftovers!

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