I’m Going To Tell You Something, But I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: I struggle with my weight.  And when I say struggle, I mean in an epic Greek tragedy kind of way, minus Oedipus or Electra complexes.  The thing is, I never wanted to write a fat girl blog — I’ve got no interest in composing it, and I’m going to assume that you’ve no interest in reading it.  That said, some days there’s just going to be no avoiding it, and this is one of those days.  Here’s why:

I’ve just made the most delicious-smelling dinner, and the recipe called for fourteen tablespoons of butter.  Which is why it’s probably going to taste fantastic.  And I want to enjoy it, I really do, but I’m scared that I’ll scarf the whole damn thing down.  I know you think I’m being glib or hyperbole-prone, but I promise you I am capable of such a thing.  Moderation and I have yet to meet.  And when we do, I’ll probably punch the broad in the face and take off running.  Because that’s the kind of gal I am when it comes to food.

Anyway, in the spirit of the holiday season, and of sharing and solidarity and all that, here’s the recipe.  I don’t want to be fat alone.

Chicken, Sausage + Mushroom Pot Pie, from Jean Soulard at the Fairmont le Château Frontenac, as published in Bon Appétit
Makes six portions

for the crust
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water

for the filling
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 ¼ pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup Madeira
2 cups low-salt chicken broth (or you can use the handy-dandy turkey stock you made this past Thanksgiving, if you’re me)
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, thickly sliced *
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water

  1. Make the crust.  Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms. Add 4 tablespoons water. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more water by ½ tablespoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  2. Make the filling.  Mix 2 tablespoons butter and flour in bowl to smooth paste; set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in large deep skillet. Add mushrooms, shallots, and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms brown, about 8 minutes. Add sausage; sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with spoon, about 7 minutes. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until chicken is no longer pink on outside, about 5 minutes. Add Madeira; boil 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil. Mix in butter-flour paste; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Mix in parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 10-cup round baking dish; top with egg slices.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13- to 14-inch round. Place atop filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang under; crimp edge. Brush crust with glaze; cut several slits in crust.
  4. Bake pie until crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes and serve.
* I did not include the hard-boiled eggs.  Keith isn’t too into them, and besides, it’s not as if I need any more cholesterol.

9 thoughts on “I’m Going To Tell You Something, But I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

  1. is that what smells so good? i’ll help you eat the whole pan, that way we’re each only 1/2 fat. Yum.

    it really does smell that good.

    • Well, now that Keith and I (aka your gluttonous neighbors) have eaten our fill, there’s shamefully little left to share. Next time though — because, yes, I will be making this again — we’ll let you have first dibs.

    • God, you should see me eat when I’m home alone. The words “barbaric” and “unladylike” come to mind. And “disgusting” and “embarrassing” and “unappetizing.”

      And thanks, BTW.

  2. Hmmm. You don’t look like you struggle with your weight, though I doubt that’s any consolation to you. I, too, had the epic weight struggle until a bunch of circumstances collided a bit over two years ago and got me to drop 50 pounds.


    I miss butter.

    • I should miss butter, in the sense that I should file for divorce, but I’m a glutton for punishment. And a glutton in general. And I’ve got five pounds of it in the fridge right now. In my defense, I’m doing a lot of baking lately.

      Excuses, excuses, excuses…

  3. You crack me up!
    I can screw up any great recipe and I’d be glad to do my best to ruin this one. It certainly looks yummy enough! 😀 Just one question. My kids hate mushrooms (I love them) so what can I substitute in this recipe for the mushrooms?
    I’m really not kidding you when I say I’m an absolute culinary disaster.

    • Thanks!

      There’s no real substitute for mushrooms, but I bet green peas would be nice in this, as well as add a dash of color. Or maybe carrots for a bit of sweetness? If you were to do carrots, I’d dice them pretty small so they have a chance to soften up a bit during the sauté process. Hm. Let me know if you try this, and how it comes out.

      And I’m sure you’re not nearly as disastrous in the kitchen as you think! If you want to make it a bit easier for yourself, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with topping this all off with a store-bough pie crust , à la Pillsbury. And anyway, who’s going to know the difference if the pie doesn’t turn out right the first time? Just pour everyone a bit more wine and call it a day. Though I suppose that advice isn’t going to work for your kids. I guess you can just bribe them…

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