Posts Tagged ‘valentine’s day dinner’


So I think this recipe is my own twist on one I originally tore out of an issue of Real Simple or something, and where it’s a simple idea, it’s really amazingly flavorful and would make a WONDERFUL Valentine’s Day dinner.

Even if you aren’t usually the cook in your house/relationship, if you do this in steps and don’t try and do everything at once, it’s EASY. Just be sure to leave yourself enough time to do everything. I put the time required for each step, so you can plan and look in control of everything.  However, sometimes a nice pre-dinner melt down and an emergency run-out for pizza can be just as romantic, so there’s your back-up plan;)

This recipe also dirties a lot of pots so your love will KNOW you worked really hard to make something special for them and that’s half the battle right there.


So here’s what you need:

some white wine (for cooking and drinking)

1 big supermarket rotisserie chicken (or 1.5 smallish ones)

a stick of butter

5 Tbsp flour

4 cups of broth (you could use canned or make it from the bones of the rotisserie if you have time)

(Optional: 1/2 a  Star brand Porcini cube to add to the broth)

1 large onion, chopped

(optional: 1/4 of a bulb of fennel, chopped very fine)

2 tsp ground thyme

5-6 carrots peeled and chopped into coins

1 (10 oz) pack of mushrooms, sliced

10 oz of petite frozen peas

Sheets of frozen puff pastry (taken out to defrost a good 30 minutes before you start cooking)


For novice cooks: prepare all ingredients and put into separate bowls like they do in cooking shows.  It will make it much easier and less stressful. Also, unbutton your shirt and lean over a bit  like Giada or Nigella, you know,  just to get some good mojo going. (If you have a hairy chest, try to do it away from the food.)

1. Take the pastry out to defrost.

2.  Chop up all the chicken into bite sized pieces (takes about 15 min) and put it into a large baking dish. If the chicken fills the dish, you need a bigger dish!

3. Heat oven to 425 degrees

First 7 minutes: The Gravy

1.Set a burner to medium and melt 5 Tbsp of butter in a sauce pan. STAND THERE AND DO NOT WALK AWAY OR IT WILL BURN. Now add the flour and whisk it in.  KEEP STIRRING (sorry for the yelling) until a paste forms and it bubbles for 3 minutes.

2. Add the broth and keep stirring.  Turn up the heat and bring it to a boil.  Then lower the heat and let it simmer (with little bubbles) for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it sit.

15 Minutes: The Carrots

 1. In a frying pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter and add the chopped onion (and the fennel if you are using it) and stir occasionally for 7 min. then add the carrots and thyme and keep cooking for 5 more minutes. Add a splash of wine and let it cook off for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the carrots in with the chicken.

5-7 Minutes: The Mushrooms

1.  In the same pan as before, melt the rest of the butter and add the mushrooms.  Let them cook for about 5 minutes until they release a bunch of liquid.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add in with the chicken.

5 minutes: Putting it all together

1. Add the frozen peas in with the other ingredients and add the white sauce to it also.  Mix well with a wooden spoon.

2.  Carefully unfold the sheets of puff pastry.  They usually come in pairs.  Place one on the other and roll them until together they become a thin layer large enough to cover your dish.

3.  Place it over the dish and seal it tightly around the edges like a pie.  Trim the edges and make little hearts if you want to put them on top.  Cut some slits so the steam can escape.

45 Minutes:  Baking

Place the dish on a cookie sheet (because the pie might boil over a little bit  while baking) and place it on the lower middle rack in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the temp. to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 more minutes and then place some foil around the edges of the crust to prevent burning. Cook for 15 more minutes.


(Sorry for yelling again…Happy Valentine’s Day!)


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