Tug Of War

Pot Pie - After

Have I mentioned that I’m bad when it comes to sharing?  I must have missed that life lesson because in my mind, what’s mine is mine and you can’t have it.  I’m ok with some people borrowing things of mine, but it’s a pretty short list of approved borrowers.  And if I think there’s even a remote chance I won’t get it back, then the answer is no.   Of course,  if you’re willing to put up some collateral then we can negotiate an exchange. 

Usually, this doesn’t present too much of a problem.  It’s not like I have people banging down my door asking me if I can spare a cup of sugar, the lawn mower, or a vital organ.  So my stinginess flies under the radar most of the time.  Unless you happen to be The Mistah.  He holds the belief that “sharing” entitles him to 100% of the covers at night.  I’m willing to do with less than my half if I absolutely have to in order to make the whole marriage thing work, but I think it should be more like a 60/40 split, tops.

So I try all sorts of tricks to keep my covers from escaping to his side of the bed.  I tuck them under me, I tuck them in at the foot of the bed, I put a curse on them.  And still, sometime after I fall asleep but before the alarm goes off, we play tug of war.  I wake up because he’s snatched the covers AGAIN and I’m cold.  I drag them back over to my side and go back to sleep.  He pulls them his way; I pull them mine.  By the time the alarm does go off, I usually have only a sliver of blanket because the rest of it is puddled on the floor on his side of the bed.  He steadfastly denies any wrongdoing, despite the proof resting on the floor.

Did I point out that we have something like four layers of blankets and covers on the bed?  And that they’re all substantially bigger than our bed.  So it’s not like he’s hogging the blankets because I’ve failed to provide him with adequate coverage and he’s actually cold.  I’m starting to think that Lucy and Ricky were on to something on I Love Lucy.  They had separate beds.  What do you think, is that a little extreme?  What about stuffing him into a sleeping bag?  He’s always saying how warm his Army sleeping bag is.  Maybe if he’s zipped into that I can retain possession of my fair share of the blankets.

I have yet to find a workable solution to the blanket tug of war.  But one trick I do have allows me to be completely selfish with something just as important.  Pot pie crust.  Because if any of the above leads you to the conclusion that I’m at all territorial about my blankets, you should see me if I think my pot pie crusty goodness is threatened.  Nope.  I do not share pot pie.  Ever.  But I’ll gladly make sure you have your own.  And as long as you stay on your side of the table, and don’t ask to borrow the lawn mower, or my blankets, we should be just fine.

Anne’s Chicken Pot Pie

Anne Burrell, Food Network

BAH Note:  Anne pulled this off in 30 minutes on tv.  But we all know that tv time and real time are two different things.  So to keep it real, and to keep me from regretting the decision to make pot pie, I made the dough and cooked the chicken with veg a day ahead.  The next day I only had to debone the chicken, roast the squash, make the sauce, assemble and cook.  Jeez, that still sounds like a lot.  But it was 100% worth it.

I found the dough to be very soft, almost too soft to work with after sitting out for 20 minutes.  After I had cut out the circles for my bowls, I used an offset spatula to lift the edge of the dough and rolled into up.  I then unrolled it on top of the bowls, stretching it as needed to have it hang over the sides.

Crust:

  • 1 stick of butter, chilled, cut into pea sized pieces
  • 1 8 ounce container of cream cheese, block style, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 ribs of celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds skinless chicken legs and thighs (I couldn’t find skinless so I just removed the skin myself.  It’s messy but it can be done.)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used boxed broth.  It was fine but it probably would have been better with stock.)
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups haricot verts (or regular string beans) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Combine the stick of butter, cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups flour, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Continue to pulse until the ingredients start to come together in a crumbly mixture.  Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water.  Pulse a few more times until the the dough starts to form a ball.  If your dough looks wet, add a bit more flour.  If it looks dry, add more water, a few drops at a time.

Once your dough has formed a ball, turn it out onto a floured surface and gently knead it a few times.  Lightly dust the dough with flour and form it into a disk.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  When ready to use the dough, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes to soften.

Coat the bottom of a dutch oven or stock pot with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.  Cook the vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the chicken and chicken stock.  If the liquid doesn’t cover the chicken, add water until it does.  Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Place on a sheet pan and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  The squash will still be slightly firm and not quite browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

After the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, carefully remove the chicken and vegetables from the liquid and place in a bowl, reserving the liquid.  When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from the bones and stir into the vegetables.  Add the roasted squash to the chicken and other vegetables.  Stir to combine and taste for seasoning.  Add salt if desired.  Stir in the haricot verts or string beans, whichever you are using, and chopped sage.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add the 4 tablespoons flour and stir to combine with the melted butter.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand and is starting to pick up a little color, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Gradually whisk in the reserved cooking liquid.  Once the liquid is fully combined with the roux, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until you achieve a gravy like consistency, about 20 to 25 minutes.  If the gravy becomes too thick, whisk in a little more chicken stock or water.  Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Fill a 2 quart casserole dish or 4 individual bowls with the chicken and vegetables.  Ladle the sauce over the mixture until the dish(es) are 3/4 full.

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of the casserole dish or large enough to cut circles to cover the individual bowls.  The dough will need to hang over the sides of whichever dish you are using.  Brush the outside edges of the dish with the egg wash to help glue the dough to the sides of your dish.  Fold the edges of the dough under and press it onto the edges of the dish.  Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and cut two or three small vents in the top of the dough for steam to escape.

Place on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the filling is hot and bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

{printable recipe}

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9 Responses to Tug Of War

  1. Jill says:

    I can TOTALLY relate with the husband-cover wars! And the denial of any wrong-doings by said husband. We just recently got a king size bed for our anniversary, which I thought would solve this problem (with ample cover hanging over each side). Did it? Of course not. I have threatened to devise some kind of central anchoring system for our covers, ensuring that covers begin and end the night 50/50. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything good 🙂

  2. Noel and I do not have a problem on this front. I steal all the blankets and then radiate heat all night, which keeps him warm. He doesn’t call me “his little radiator” for nothing! He does have his own “special” blanket that lives at the end of the bed in case he ever gets cold. he knows better than to touch the regular blankets!

    • Wendi says:

      I fear the answer to this may be a Snuggie. If I’m all cocooned up in said Snuggie, then maybe I won’t notice the blankets creeping across the bed.

  3. Emily Revere says:

    HMMMMMMMMMM…… we have qa queen size bed ( because a king size will not fit in the bedroom) I buy KING sized covers so there is extra to no avail. what he doesn’t snatch the dog does. did you know that Jack Russell terrorists are excellent burrowers? then they have to turn around the requisite 3 times before they lie down.!

    I have now taken to taking my OWN blanket to bed! so far that has worked well.

    Pot pie on the other hand. I can’t make crust worth a darn. all of my crust is from Pillsbury! another thing to work on this year!

    • Wendi says:

      Emily, I’m starting to think that covers are like money…the more you have, the more you use, so you never really have enough.

      This crust was super easy to make. I usually get uber frustrated with crust but other than it being really soft after sitting out for 20 minutes, I loved working with this dough. Really.

  4. Love the story of the cover bandit!! Thank goodness hubs runs hot, because I NEED the covers (preferably all of them).

    His snoring, however, is another story.

    • Wendi says:

      He’s the cover bandit. And a twitcher. I’m the snorer. And sleep talker. It’s amazing we get any sleep at all.

  5. Pingback: Happy Birthday BAH | Bon Appetit Hon

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