In honor of my mother and father’s 50th wedding anniversary this September, I wanted to prepare something special. Something that represented them. So I called my mom and asked her if there was one dish that both my mother and father adored. It didn’t even take her a second to think. She knew. “Portuguese Chicken“, she told me.
She couldn’t have chosen a better recipe. Aside from the fact that it is their dish of choice, the recipe itself actually has many similarities with my parents. Like mom and dad, it is Portuguese.
Born on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, my mother and father lived unknowingly on the very same street as children. However, it wasn’t until many years later in Canada that they met, fell in love and got married!
The dish is spicy! Like my parents, this recipe has some kick to it. I personally love
spicy food, and anyone who does will absolutely adore this dish. What would a marriage (or a Portuguese recipe) be without a little spice!?
It’s simple. My mom will be the first to tell you that she is happiest when she is at home, in her backyard, sipping a coffee and listening to the birds who frequently pay visits. My father’s garden is his kingdom and when you see him in his element, it is made quite clear that he is happiest there. The simple things. This recipe will not have you racing to the supermarket for crazy ingredients, have you slaving over a stove for hours on end. It is simple, effective and absolutely delectable.
3 lbs or 1.5 kg whole chicken or chicken pieces
Generous pinches of coarse salt like sea salt or kosher
½ olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
2 tsp piri-piri sauce (possibly written as peri-peri) A MUST!
4 larges cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1 tbsp paprika
3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
1 bay leaf, crumbled
Cut off and get rid of any excess fat or skin. Place in a large resealable freezer bag. Squeeze in juice from lemon and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze air from bag and seal
tightly and massage to cover chicken with juice and salt. Place bag in a container (in case of leakage) and refrigerate at least 2 hrs massaging a couple of times.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 400F and place chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.
While that is roasting, in a medium bowl, whisk oil with wine, piri-piri sauce, garlic, paprika, parsley, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Brush chicken with oil mixture. Continue roasting and basting every 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked and skin is crispy, about one hour in total.
If chicken hasn’t yet reached desired crisp level, you may broil on high for 2-3 minutes.
Spoon pan juices overtop and serve with baby roasted potatoes, rice, a green salad, your choice of sides.
Perhaps it was seeing a recent Pho recipe posted by my friend and neighbor Alexis in New York City, or maybe the impending visit with my long-lost best friend Arian, otherwise known as my little Pho junkie, or it could have been the nostalgia I have been feeling of our honeymoon in Southeast Asia that has had me craving a good authentic Pho as of late. Whatever it may have been, I was inspired.
I set out to find a good recipe, but what I found were many! I would find the cooking method best with one, the selection of garnishes with another, and a variety of broths across the board. I therefore gathered what I thought was the best from all parts and put them together to create what I assessed as the ultimate Pho.
The origin of Pho is said to have arrived with the French when they came to rule Vietnam. Taken from the French word “feu” (fire), or “pot of feu” (French beef stew), it is a delicious, spicy soup that is sure to clear your sinuses. Filled with rice noodles, beef and a variety of garnishes, it is sure to pleasantly surprise those who have never previously indulged, and will continue to satisfy those who have already had the pleasure of doing so.
Prep. Time: 20 mins.
Cook Time: 8 hrs.
Serves: 4 people
- 2 pounds chuck short ribs
- 1 onion, sliced in 1/2″ rounds
- 5 slices fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 pods star anise
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 quarts water
- 1 (8oz) package dried flat rice noodles (fettuccine size)
- 1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 bunch Thai basil (you can substitute with mediterranean basil if you do not have Thai basil)
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 2 jalapeños, sliced in 1/4″ rounds
- 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup chile-garlic sauce (Sriracha)
- Heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange the onion slices and ginger on the baking sheet pan and brush with the oil. Broil until charred in spots, about 10 minutes.
- Place ribs, onion, ginger, salt, star anise, and fish sauce in a large stockpot and cover with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
- Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Bring stock to a simmer.
- Slice the meat into bite-size pieces. Portion out the noodles and top with sirloin, cilantro, and green onion among 4 large soup bowls. Ladle the hot broth into the bowls, warming the noodles and meat. Serve with the garnishes.
I have made many things in my life, but to my own disbelief, I had never prepared a chicken pot pie! Even its name emits wholesomeness, and that is precisely the feeling that it gifts us with when we eat it: that wholesome, cozy, comfy feeling, like putting on an old sweater or a pair worn-in woolen socks.
Prior to making this recipe, I conversed with a few friends about it, and one thing I kept hearing was “oh, that’s a staple in our home” or “we ate that a lot growing up.” Chicken pot pie is a family dish. It has presented itself in households for ages and will surely be here for years to come. It is timeless.
I had actually attempted to prepare this recipe a week ago. And while the filling was superb, I was unsatisfied with the results of the puff pastry crust which was suggested in the original recipe from lovelylittlekitchen.com.
I concluded that I adored the filling, however, I had to do is perfect the crust! I presented the dilemma to the numerous friends and family I have who I consider absolutely genius in the kitchen.
I was beyond pleasantly surprised for all the feedback, advice and suggestions I received. In fact, there were SO many great ideas that I had no clue as to which one to try! So I decided NOT to choose just one, but instead combine the multiple ideas put forth by my very generous friends and family and create a whole new recipe.
I chose the base of my mother’s recipe, which essentially mirrored that of my friend Yvette’s. I replaced the white vinegar portion of the recipe with white wine as suggested by my friend Monica in Italy (such an Italian thing to do😂). I added a hint of thyme, an idea offered by my cousin Stephanie. And I was sure to score the top of the pie, as instructed by my mom, as well as my friend and neighbor Alexis (and Alexis’s mom😊), an essential step, allowing the vapor to escape.
The crust, as a result, was a group effort, a family affair if you will. How appropriate for this made-for-family dish.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. This is a recipe which can be altered in so many different ways (as I have demonstrated); you can tailor-make it for you and your family. Add a bit of this, change a bit of that, but one thing will surely stay the same: Chicken Pot Pie will forever be shared, eaten together, as a family, whomever your family may be.
Chicken Pot Pie
Start with the pie crust as it will need to chill for an hour; therefore you will have time to prepare the filling while it is doing so.
Pie Crust Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour, just because I prefer everything whole wheat😜, but it would definitely work best with the all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut in 8 pieces
1/3 cup cold water
2 tbsp white wine
Pie Crust Directions:
In a bowl, combine flour and salt. With a pastry blender or fingers, cut in butter and vegetable shortening until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Combine water and wine and sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time tossing together with a fork until the pastry is moist enough to hold its shape when a little piece is pressed between the fingers.
Gather pastry into a ball – it should not feel sticky.
Flour the counter or pastry board lightly. With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12-inches (20 x 30-cm). Fold the pastry into thirds like a letter. Turn the dough so the open edges face you and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat this procedure again (this makes for a flaky dough).
Roll dough into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill one hour.
For smaller pies, use half the dough, larger ones need two thirds or all of it. Freeze any remaining dough for another occasion. Dough should be rolled out 1/4-inch (5-mm) thick.
Pie Filling Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish if desired
1 egg, beaten slightly with a fork
Pie Filling Directions:
In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat.
Add onion, celery, carrot, and sauté until onions are translucent and vegetables start to get tender.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in milk, heavy cream and and bouillon, and bring to a slow boil.
Simmer gently over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken (5 minutes).
Turn heat to low, and add chicken, peas and thyme.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour chicken mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt.
Roll out dough into desired shape on lightly floured surface.
Cover chicken mixture with dough, making sure to leave some hanging over the edge, and scoring it too to permit the vapor to escape.
Using a pastry brush, brush egg onto top of dough.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top of the dough will be a deep golden brown color.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
A special thank you to Monica Carrozzo, Alexis Strober (and her mom), Yvette Yasui and Stephanie Vanderschaff for all there helpful advice, suggestions and input. A special thank you to my mom for her recipe and for the 5 or 6 phone calls required to get it right😉. One last thank you to Lindsey Low for the use of her rolling pin! (This temporary stay in Toronto has deprived me of my most precious cooking equipment!!!)