Friday, October 10, 2014

Winging it in the kitchen

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Yesterday morning the phone rang at 8:15.  It's almost NEVER a good thing when the phone rings that early, but yesterday it was my brother asking if I wanted to go with him to the Public Market.  Did I?  You bet!

So, he picked me up and we got stuck in a huge traffic jam. (Remind me never to go to the Public Market BEFORE 9 a.m.)  But we got there okay, and then the fun began.  Veggies are sooooo much cheaper there than at the grocery store, so I often go bananas.  I knew I wanted to make potato leek soup for lunch, so leeks and potatoes were the first things on my mental list.  But I also bought acorn squash (50¢ each--how can you go wrong?), delicota squash, broccoli, scallions, and a cider doughnut for Mr. L. (My brother said, "He expects it." Okay.)  My carrier bag was so heavy, I thought my arm would stretch another 4-5 inches before we got back to the car and off we went for home.  (Traffic was STILL jammed up southbound, but we flew northbound without a hitch.)

I made the soup for lunch (click this link and scroll down to find the recipe), and then decided since I had more than half a roast chicken left--and had bought wayyyy too many leeks--that I'd make a chicken and leek pie for supper.

I've never made one before, but I'd had some at a pub in England the last time we went.  So I hopped on the Internet and started looking for recipes.  One had peas, one used mostly onions, some wanted you to boil a chicken first.  Uh-uh.  I printed out one of the recipes, but I didn't use it. I decided instead to wing it.  I sauteed the leeks in butter, then decided to use the leftover soup as the base for my gravy.  I added some salt and pepper, let it cook down a bit, then added the chicken.  Next up, I tossed the whole she-bang into casserole dishes.  One for us, and one for my Mum.

Since supper was more than five hours away, I put them in the fridge to cool, then later put on the crust.

I popped it into the oven (400F) for about 45 minutes, and we were ready to eat.  I'd also got some Cohen's Seeded Rye Bread at the Public Market, and that was all we needed.  (I chose to cut out maple leaves for decoration because Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving. Why not celebrate a little early?)

OMG -- I've made a few good chicken pies in my day, but this was the best!  So the next time I buy too many leeks (and it could probably happen in the upcoming weeks), I know what I'm going to make.

Do you like leeks?  Have any good recipes to share?
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