I love to cook with foods that are in season. And finally…it’s our season for really delectable foods like strawberries, asparagus, and fresh greens. This is a great spring time recipe, but it does take a bit of time. There is some resting time built into it though. I usually double the recipe and make two pies. These make great gifts if you freeze them uncooked, especially for new parents. Even when I am making the pie for my family, I assemble on one day and bake the next. It just works out well that way for me.
So here is how I do it (the narrative here with a more concise recipe below)…
Start with the dough because it needs time to chill. You can use any double crust recipe, but this is the one I like to use. Put 1 ½ cup of whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour into your food processor. (You can experiment here a bit just make sure you have 2 ½ cup of flour. I’d like to try spelt, but I haven’t yet.) Put ½ tsp. salt in with the flour and give the flour a whirl. Cut in small pieces of cold butter until you have used 2 sticks (oohhh, I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s a double crust!). Process until the mix is crumbly. Add ¼ cup or so of ice water to make the dough. With all that butter, the dough should just roll right out of the bowl. Form two balls and wrap in wax paper and chill in the refrigerator.
Chop up 6-8 asparagus spears into inch long pieces. Contribute the woody ends to your compost. Cut an onion into small pieces (you can use green onions, spring garlic, chives whatever you have like that or omit if you’re not a fan of alliums). Chop your mushrooms into bit size pieces (shitakes work well with this too) no more than about a cup. Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a medium saucepan and add the onions, and mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and cook them for a couple of more minutes stirring the mix constantly. Finally, add 1 ½ cup of cooked chicken shredded (I usually use the leftovers from a roasted chicken or grilled chicken). Add 1 cup of chicken stock or just enough to cover the ingredients. Add a teaspoon of dill, a teaspoon of poultry seasoning, and some freshly ground pepper. Bring this goodness to a boil. While this is cooking, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup milk. Mix this into the chicken veggie mixture on the stove and cook for 5 more minutes stirring constantly. Let this cool completely. This is a nice time for a break from the kitchen. Just stick in the refrigerator and go outside for about an hour. Or if you must, you can start cleaning up everything and grate the 1 ½ cups of Cheddar cheese you will need later.
Time to assemble the pies…. Put one of your dough balls between two pieces of wax paper and roll into a circle to fit your 9” pie pan. Fit this into the bottom of the pan carefully peeling the wax paper off as you go. Mix 1 ½ cup of shredded Cheddar cheese into your cooled chicken veggie mixture. Pour into pie pan. If you have too much filling, make another pie or eat it for lunch over a piece of toast ;) Now put your second dough ball between the pieces of wax paper and roll into a circle for the top. Peel off 1 piece of wax paper and place on top of the pie. Carefully peel off the second piece of wax paper. Cut the excess dough from the edge of the pie pan. And now for a moment of mindfulness... begin crimping the dough around the edge of the pie. If you are making this for someone, you can use this moment to seal in a love and good intentions for this person or a special blessing for a new baby if this is a gift for new parents. Cut slits into the top of the crust, and your pie is assembled!
If you are like me, it is time to put the pie in the freezer for another day. When you need an easy meal, pull the pie out of the freezer and put it directly into a preheated 375F oven. Cook for 1 ½ hours or until the crust is nicely browned. Cover the pie with foil for part of the time. If you just can’t wait, you need to preheat your oven to 375F and bake for 50 minutes. You may want to cover the pie with aluminum foil for part of the time to keep the edge from getting too dark. Let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. Serve with a salad and you have a great meal....enjoy!
Chicken, asparagus, cheddar cheese pie
What you need:
Double Pie Crust
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ t of salt
1 cup of butter
¼ cup of ice water
6-8 spears of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
About ½ cup of onion, garlic, chives diced
1 cup of mushroom chopped
2 T of olive oil
1 t dill
1 t poultry seasoning
Ground pepper to your liking
1 ½ cup of shredded cooked chicken
1 cup of chicken stock
2 T cornstarch
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
What you need to do:
1. Mix pie dough. Chill
2. Sauté onion, mushroom in olive oil
3. Add asparagus; continue sautéing for another 2 minutes
4. Add chicken, chicken stock, dill, poultry seasoning, and pepper
5. Bring to a boil
6. Mix cornstarch with milk add to filling mixture
7. Stir continuously for 5 minutes
8. Remove from heat and chill until completely cooled
9. Add cheese to filling mixture
10. Place filling into 9 inch pie crust.
11. Top with second crust.
12. Seal with love and cut slits into top crust.
13. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes or until top is browned
14. Let it sit for a few minutes before you cut the pie. Enjoy!