I've recently begun a subscription to Cook's Illustrated, a magazine from the America's Test Kitchen folks on PBS. The magazine has tons of detailed explanations and each recipe is the result of many experiments. They screw things up so you don't have to. Such detail means that each magazine only has a handful of recipes, but one in particular caught my eye. Seeing as we were due for a blizzard up here in the New York area, I decided to spend a few hours in the kitchen, creating the Skillet Chicken Pot Pie from Cook's Illustrated.
Holy crap. This is the best thing to ever come out of my kitchen (not counting Thanksgiving), and I've been in this apartment for about 2 1/2 years. I ain't exaggerating here, folks. This is it. This was the best pot pie that I've ever had, including any that I've had at fancy-schmancy restaurants.
However, it is exceedingly time-intensive. First you have to pan-sear the chicken, then roast it with the vegetables, then create the sauce deglazing the pan with broth and cream, and assemble with a homemade crust. Doing all the steps using the same oven-proof skillet speeds things up a bit, but it still takes roughly 2-3 hours. But it's worth it. It's so, so worth it. I can't emphasize enough how worth it this dish is. This is the dish you bust out when you want to impress someone. In my case, the impressee was a farmboy from Iowa, so this was perfect. He was impressed. He already had leftovers for lunch, and he's petitioning for more leftovers for dinner.
The inside is the simple combination of roast chicken, carrots, celery, onions (white and pearl), with the gravy sauce (drippings, broth, and a bit of cream). The crust was unbelievably flaky, thanks to ice cold butter and my trusty cuisinart.
I can't even come up with anything witty to say. The simplicity and complexity of the taste blew me away. Yum.