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Friday, January 27, 2012

“Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XIII: ‘Grandmother Mazarotti’s Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Vegetables and Sauce—the Ultimate Pot Pie Recipe’ by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti”



Our new band for the next month or so is one of the best bands to come out of Los Angeles in the 1960’s: the Byrds.  They went from Electric Folk to Psychedelic to Country Music and shined each and every step of the way.  Their thirteenth album—“The Best of the Byrds, Volume II”—was released on October 29, 1971 and is still as wonderful today as it was then, more than 40 years ago.  We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed! [Unfortunately, the link may no longer be possible due to the fact that the Amazon.com Associates’ Program’s status is up in the air due to the fact that our home base is in California—you can still go there and BUY it!] Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.



                                                                           
Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 329 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                                                    


STINKBUG 2012

                                                                                      


Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

END Commentary 01-28-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,340.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti
OLD-FASHIONED HOME COOKING, PT. XIII

Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XIII: ‘Grandmother Mazarotti’s Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Vegetables and Sauce—the Ultimate Pot Pie Recipe’ by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



Bakersfield, CA, 01-28-2012 S: Bit-by-bit, this week has whittled itself down as we’ve approached our inevitable end, my friends…good morning!  Here we are, on a lovely wintry Saturday in Kern County, California, the heart of a once-thriving agricultural district before Sacramento in conjunction with the federal government decided that we could no longer have our water sent down the valley with which to irrigate our once-expansive farms, farms that fed not only the nation, but the world, my friends.  We are denied this life-saving water due to a minuscule fish—the so-called Delta smelt—and also because the salmon farmers up in the Bay Area say the loss of water has harmed their industry.  Good God Almighty! What the heck is happening to our nation when food is no longer important?  Sure, I understand the salmon fisheries but you know what? They’re a relatively new industry in California compared to what goes on up in the Puget Sound so to favor them over the agricultural industry is mind-boggling.  Please, everyone, contact your congressman-or-woman and tell them to do something for the people for once and not for the EPA.  This madness must stop and people must be allowed to get back to the business of making America successful instead of into a Third World country which seems to be what some Americans want…the scoundrels!

Our recipe for today is a classic one; Grandmother Mazarotti’s famed Chicken Pot Pie! Pot pies are marvelous creations, I know that I loved them as a kid and when my grandmother made hers from scratch, it was a feat to behold!  We are going to substitute a standard pie crust recipe used here at the END because the one she used is long-lost to us, a biscuit-sort-of-like-crust that I or anyone else in the family doesn’t know.  The regular pie crust makes it similar to the ones you can buy in the freezer case at the grocery store which is mighty-fine in and of themselves but the filling is more like a chicken fricassee taken off the bone, combined with vegetables, and stuffed inside a top-and-bottom crust.  Once you’ve had this one, you will be simply amazed at how delicious, how beautiful, and how perfect it is.  Trust me, I know! Let’s make it:

CHICKEN POT PIE



This is a two-part recipe, obviously, and this is the first part:

ALL-PURPOSE PIE DOUGH





Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
5
Cups
All-purpose flour

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Cup
Granulated sugar

.5
Cup
Chilled Crisco shortening

.5
Cup
Unsalted butter
Cut into pieces
.75
Cup
Ice water




Method:

1.      Combine the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl and stir to blend well.

2.      Work the shortening and the butter into the flour mixture by rubbing it between the palms of your hands until both are about the size of small pebbles. 

3.      Form a “well” in the center of the dry goods and pour the ice water into its center.  Gradually fold the flour in from the sides of the bowl mixing constantly as you do this.  Should it be too STIFF, add a little extra water.

Scoop the pie dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it until firm dough has formed.  Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes at the low end or overnight (preferred).

This is the second part:

CHICKEN POT PIE FILLING

Yield:  8 servings / Mis-en-place: 8-10 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Basics:
.25
Cup
Vegetable oil

1
3.5-4#
Whole fryer, cut into serving pieces

2
Ribs
Celery, chopped

1
Each
Carrot, peeled and chopped

1
Each
Yellow onion, peeled and chopped

1
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

.75
Cup
Reserved grease/chicken liquid divided into the following measures:
.25
Cup
Reserved grease/chicken liquid

.5
Cup
Reserved grease/chicken liquid

.25
Cup
All-purpose flour

2
Cups
Half’n’half

.5
Cup
Chenin blanc

3/8
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
White pepper

3
Cups
Sliced button mushrooms

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
Vegetable Garnish:
.5
Cup
Diced celery
Blanched
.5
Cup
Diced carrots
Blanched
.5
Cup
Diced yellow onions
Blanched
.5
Cup
Diced leeks
Blanched
.5
Cup
Diced green bell peppers, stemmed & seeded
Blanched
1
Cup
Diced white potatoes
Blanched
1
Cup
Green peas
Blanched
.25
Cup
Diced pimientos
Dried
The Finish:
2
Each
Large AAA eggs

.25
Cup
Buttermilk

.125
Cup
Poppy seeds

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work. The day before, make the pie dough and refrigerate it overnight.  Bring it out the next day and let it soften slightly. Drop down to the “Vegetable Garnish” section of the recipe and blanch each one separately (except for the pimientos) in simmering, salted water.  When al dente tender. Drain and discard the liquid and plunge each one into a bowl of ice water.  The purpose of this is to (1) prevent further cooking of the vegetables and (2) maintain their color. When chilled, drain and discard the water and place the vegetables in a colander or better yet, into a salad spinner, and remove all excess water.

2.      Place an oven-proof, heavy-duty skillet with a tight-fitting lid atop a medium flame and add the vegetable oil. 

3.      When oil’s hot, add the cut-up chicken pieces (two breasts, two thighs, two drums, and two wings) as well as the celery, carrots, onions, and the thyme.  Quickly roll the chicken around in the oil to coat it and then pull from the flame.  Clamp on the lid and place inside your preheated oven.  Cook for ONE hour. During this time, remove the lid and stir the chicken around but no more than 2-3 times as too much steam will be allowed to escape.

4.      After an hour, remove the pot and strain the liquid from it, approximately .75 cup, and reserve it, dividing it into the TWO specified measures.  Discard the vegetables.  Bring the chicken out of the pot and quickly remove it from the bone.  Take the meat and chop it into chunks approximately 0.5” x 0.5”; set aside.  Preheat standard oven to 400°F or a convection oven—fan “on”—to 350°F. 

5.      Place an empty pot over a medium-high flame and pour the QUARTER-CUP measure of reserved chicken grease/liquid into it.  Stir in the flour to form a rudimentary roux and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

6.      Raise the flame to high and add the half’n’half, wine, and the rest of the reserved chicken liquid/grease to it.  Continue stirring until a sauce has been formed.  Bring to a boil and allow it to stay there for TWO minutes.  Season with the salt and pepper and stir in the mushrooms.  Return the diced chicken from the refrigerator along with the blanched, dried vegetables to the sauce, blending well, and cover with the lid.  Allow it to bubble a final minute or two atop the stove and then set aside to cool for a bit.

7.      Now, bring out a large baking dish or small roasting pan and spray thoroughly with PAM or with some such other food release spray.  Bring out the pie dough and divide it into two pieces.  Using a rolling pin and a floured work surface, roll out the first piece so that it’s large enough to cover the baking dish with a little bit leftover.  Now, roll it up onto the rolling pin after sprinkling it with some additional flour and roll it out over the baking dish so that it rests on the bottom and drapes the sides. Press it into the sides and bottom of the dish using your fingertips and then crimp the edges so that nothing is hanging over.  Set the scrap dough aside. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk to form eggwash using an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment.  When light and foamy, force it through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any scrap bits of eggshells and to homogenize it so there are no blotchy patches of egg white upon the finished product.  Find your sanitized foodservice brush, rinse it to soften the hairs and place into the eggwash to soak in it.

8.      Fill the dish with the filling and shake the pan—gently—to spread it out. Now, roll the second piece of pie dough out so that it’s large enough to drape over the top of the pie with a little bit left hanging over the side.  Pinch off the excess and then using your fingertips or a fork, crimp the sides into a decorative border.  Roll out the scrap dough on the lightly-floured work surface and then using a decorative cookie cutter shaped like a leaf and one shaped like flowers, cut out as many forms as you can.

9.      Brush the top of the pot pie with eggwash and then arrange the leaves and flowers made from pie dough on the top so that you have an attractive design.  Brush the top again with the eggwash and then slice some air vents in the top for allowing the steam to escape.   Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the top and then place the pot pie inside your preheated oven on its middle rack and bake for 10 minutes at the high heat; then, drop the temperature by 50°F and continue baking for another 25-35 minutes OR until the crust is golden-brown and a temperature reading tells you it’s 165°F.

10.  Remove the pot pie from the oven and set it atop a cooling rack to sit for 4-5 minutes so that it can coalesce a bit.  Then, using a large kitchen spoon, dish up servings and dust with freshly minced and rinsed parsley flakes.   Accompany with an additional vegetable such as buttered peas and carrots and you’ve got yourself a marvelous meal!

11.  Always collect leftover pie dough and roll it up in plastic wrap in case you might have to make additional crust or if you believe you’ll need it when you’re making the pie, roll it out right then and bake on a sheet pan lined with sprayed wax paper (after cutting air slits in it so it won’t puff up) while baking the pot pie.  This additional crust will obviously be done prior to the pie so keep a close eye upon it!

This is the classic Chicken Pot Pie that everyone knows and loves.  If you wish to make individual pot pies, use smaller pie pans and do so.  Always cool leftovers down to below 45°F as quickly as possible so that it’s out of the Danger Zone (45°F to 140°F).  If you have to remove the upper crust, do so, but cool it as quickly as possible and when reheating in the microwave, get it to 165°F to prevent any possibility of foodborne bacterial illness.  Always err on the safe-side so as to protect your friends, family, neighbors, or customers!

---------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Saturday is now but a memory and that leaves us only tomorrow, Sunday.  Then, on Monday, the one-and-only Murph MacDonald will be coming in to do Lord knows what.  Like everyone else, she’ll reach her hand into Stinkbug’s golden chef’s hat and pull out her card and then will proceed down the primrose path and will wow the readership.  We all enjoy the drawing of the cards—whether it’s us or one of our colleagues—because it’s fun when someone is given a category with which they’re not totally comfortable with.  But you know what? With the help of our culinary friends or of our staffs, all of us have risen to the occasion and acquitted themselves well!  Its part of the Elemental News of the Day experience for both the authors and the readers!  Yes, indeed, that’s what makes life exciting and unexpected—NO one ever knows what the heck they’ll be drawing and that, my friends, is fun!  Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Byrds and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thank you!

V. Vicky Mazarotti

V. “Vicky” Mazarotti
ACF, CWC, CPC, International Association of Culinary Professionals IACP.


This is me as a young chef back in the 1970's when I was working at a hotel in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to work in many different parts of the country and worked my way up the culinary ladder to become a top chef. I am both a Certified Working Chef and a Certified Pastry Chef and am a member of the American Culinary Federation, the world's top authority on everything connected to cooking.

---30---

END Commentary for Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti.



Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti.



Recipe created by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti on February 22, 1972 in San Francisco, CA.

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This is #20 a 16” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Summer Camp." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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