Family, I have a confession to make.
I am not an herbivore. Now, before you start dreaming of the steak dinners and pork chops that we will share when I come to visit, hold back those meat-a-saurus urges and listen. In my house, we cook and eat many things. On any given week you might find Pablo or I whipping up some pesto pasta, risotto, tortilla española, curry, lentil soup, quiche, beet salad, peirogi, mac & cheese, arepa, lasagna, frijoles, or any number of other dishes. We do, in fact, make a menu on Saturdays so that we continue to eat well even during the busy week. And, of the things we make, I would say that 90% of our eats include lots of cream, butter, eggs, and cheese but no real animal flesh. However, from time to time a bit of sausage in our beans, fish in our wok, or chicken in our pie seems like a good idea.
So, last Sunday I got the wild idea that I would leave pie-hibernation in style. You see, a few months ago for a friend’s birthday I made a sugar cream pie and I was sorely disappointed with the results. The crust was a bit soggy and worse, the sugar cream filling was so sweet I could feel the cavities forming in my teeth. It was a five hour project that could have been accomplished by pouring a jar of arequipe into a half-ass crust. Needless to say, I was pie scarred. I even told Pablo, “I am never making pie again.” I guess I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Do something awesome or don’t do it at all.
Hence, the Chicken Pot Pie. After months of pie avoidance do I choose to make a tried and true pie that never fails? Heck no. I find the recipe that is five pages long and set to work. First, I made some stock; chicken carcass, carrots, garlic, onion, herbs, salt, and celery were boiled (Side note, apparently celery can only be bought in huge bunches in Chile. I now have several pounds of chopped celery in my not-so-large freezer). Then, I roasted some chicken thighs and mixed the drippings with (more) celery, tomatoes, garlic, and pisco for the base of a gravy. Next, I chopped up some potatoes, (more) carrots, and onion and roasted that until soft. Finally, I made a roux to mix with the gravy base. Once I combined the roasted veggies, pieces of chicken, and gravy I had something that very much resembled Dinty Moore… delicious canned goup of my childhood. Throw that into a double pie crust and voila, you have chicken pot pie.
I must admit, it was really good. The chicken bits were incredibly tender, the gravy was tangy, creamy, and salty all at the same time, and the thing really looked like a pot pie! I feel reassured in my ability to make an edible pie! And so, in summary, yes, folks I eat meat. I think I will never have a pallet for that metallic flavor of a grilled steak- really beef flesh, pork chops, pork tenderloin, and ground beef are not something I like- but, if you dress up some bits of meat in a pie, or add a piece of this or that to a soup, I will not object and neither will my stomach.