Mariel here. Last week’s 21-inch “dusting” of snow left me with a hankering for something homey. Back in the day, my mom used to cobble together a pretty killer chicken pot pie using leftovers and frozen veggies. Later she elevated her kid-friendly staple into this rendition with leeks, sweet potatoes and portabellas, but I’m not sure we’ve made it again since we posted it.
When I was assigned Canela Kitchen for this month’s installation of Secret Recipe Club, I spent a long time perusing Gloria’s Chilean recipes since she hails from Santiago. In fact, I came thisclose to making her Corn Soup with Pebre. But after Nemo swept through town, I wanted something snow-day-worthy. Gloria’s rendition of this Chicken-Cheddar Tart is a lot speedier than what I ended up preparing…and she opted for mini tarts instead of an entire pie. But in an unusual twist of fate, I found myself with an afternoon “off.” I had just wrapped a deadline for DailyWorth.com and my bambino was happily snoozing, so I decided to really take my time with this, to brown the chicken separately, to fully caramelize the onions and carrots, and to add a pop of purple fingerling potatoes. This is well worth the time spent making it. It’s comfort food to the core and a dish I suspect the whole fam will applaud. In fact, it got a rave review from my 7-month old, so you know it’s good.
Chicken, Cheddar and Fingerling Potato Tart Serves 6 Adapted from Canela Kitchen
Ingredients: ½-lb fingerling potatoes, cut into ½-inch dice – $1.05 2 Tablespoons butter – stock 1 medium onion, chopped finely – $0.72 3 carrots, peeled and chopped finely – $1.00 1-lb chicken breast, cut into thin, bite-size strips – $4.69 1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock ¾-cup sharp shredded/grated cheddar – $2.49 1 cup light cream – $1.69 Small pinches of dried savory and dried thyme – stock Package of 6 frozen puff pastry shells – $4.99 1 egg, beaten – stock Salt & pepper – stock Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $16.63 Cost per serving: $2.77 Directions: 1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the diced potatoes for 4 minutes. Pour into a strainer and run under cold water to halt the cooking process. Set aside. 2. In a large saute pan, heat the butter over med-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and carrots – season with a dash of salt. Cook for 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden and tender. Add the blanched fingerling potatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 3. Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper. While the onions/carrots are cooking, in a separate skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet. 4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 5. Once the chicken is cooked, add to the skillet with carrots/onions/potatoes. Remove from heat and pour in the cream, cheddar, savory, thyme and salt/pepper, if desired. 6. Transfer the mixture to a pie plate and arrange the 6 frozen puff pastry shells on top. Brush the tops of the shells with the beaten egg. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until shells are golden. Serve hot.