I heard whispers of desire emanating from the kitchen, as my children were discussing what they wanted for dinner. Tart came out on top. Since neither yearns to cook, they turned to me, plaintive looks in their eyes. I live to please, and what could satisfy this particular desire better than Chicken Pot Pie? I put the idea forward, and they were thrilled. Not that either of them really knew what it was, since it is a quintessentially American dish, all the more reason to give it a try, with a slight French flair. I got started.
As any cook knows, getting started often means going on a treasure hunt. Mine included going to the butcher, where there wasn’t a shred of chicken to be found, so I bought turkey breast; visiting the cheese shop for fresh butter; going to the épicerie to get flour. Thanks to a small town and a bicycle, this was no trouble.
And from there it was a trip down memory lane as I made the chicken potpie from FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK. After making the pastry, I cut up the turkey and vegetables (using fresh broccoli instead of peas) and generally reveled in making an American dish with French overtones that I hadn’t even thought of for years. The result was crisp, aromatic, creamy without being heavy, delicious. It reminded me of vol au vent, a very old-fashioned French dish that consists of puff pastry traditionally filled with a similar delicate mixture that includes sweetbreads. There really is nothing new under the sun, and when it comes to something like chicken pot pie, thank goodness for that!