These little dishes of stewiness are on their way to chicken pot pie nirvana. This one features a tandoori twist, in keeping with my current curry fixation.
I roasted a chicken the other night...for the sole purpose of conjuring up some new leftover ideas. I made an Apple Quinoa Salad with Curry Dressing that turned out pretty great. Problem was I never got a chance to eat it (thanks to some clean freak at work), but those few tastes were nice.
I never got around to making the curry chicken salad I had spent days searching and bookmarking. Suddenly I fixated on the idea of a Tandoori Chicken Pot Pie.
I start by cleaning out the fridge of anything teetering on the edge...leeks, asparagus, fennel, zucchini...then adding potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic cloves (skins on). Chop everything (except garlic) to a large dice and toss it with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes toss and bake for 10 minutes more. The crucial thing is to NOT crowd the veg or else it'll all just steam, not brown. I always have a ton of veg to use up so I end up having to roast in batches. Yeah, it takes forever. While the roasting is finishing up, I start the sauteed stuff.
Into the hot dutch oven goes about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (olive oil is fine too) let it melt and get hot (oil ripples in the pot) then toss in a cup of diced onion...today it was a leftover half of a large red onion and a similarly fated half of a yellow onion...why did I have 2 old onion halves in the fridge door? who knows? Then I stirred in 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, the roasted garlic (skins removed) and a teaspoon each of Penzey's tandoori seasoning and a garam masala mix I got from Haig's Delicacies a while back. Then I toss in the roasted veg and stir that around a bit. I probably could have used 2 teaspoons of each spice mix since there was soooo much veg but in the end the stew tasted really nice.Next goes the 4 cups of chicken stock I made with my roasted chicken carcass the night I roasted the chicken:-) I'd refrigerated it so it was pretty gelatinous...I nuked it for 2 minutes before tossing it in the pot.
Then the diced and shredded chicken goes in (I'm not a fan of dark meat so when I carve the roasted chicken and remove the breast meat for chicken salad sandwiches and other salads, I shred the remaining meat off the bone and save it for exactly this purpose-it's usually about 2 cups of chicken-my ratio of veg to chicken ends up being about 3 to 1.
I then toss in a cup each of frozen corn and frozen peas...let that heat up a minute or two then add 1/3 cup of dry vermouth. Let that cook out a bit 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and while that's cooking, in a small non-stick pot, melt two tablespoons of butter then add two tablespoons of flour...this is called a roux and it's purpose is to thicken the stew. Stir it about for a minute to cook the flour, then scrape it into the stew.Stir that around a bit and you'll notice that everything starts to thicken. Turn off the heat.
The last step is to add the creaminess. This can be done with a cup of heavy cream or sour cream. I like to use greek yogurt or strain the whey out of non-fat yogurt. This time I added the last bit (about a 1/4 cup) of apricot chutney, a jarred preserve I picked up from Casa de Fruta a while back, to my strained non-fat yogurt and stirred that around for a bit and then added it to the pot.Seriously, this was off-the-charts good.
The topping will be herb biscuit crust...or maybe it'll be polenta, that I dollop on top with a small ice cream/portion scoop and bake for 30 minutes until the biscuit topping is golden brown. Let it rest for 10 minutes then serve.