16 loaves of challah, a million cookies and 2 chicken pot pies

Subtitled: guess who got a KitchenAid!

And I love it oh so much, not the least because I got it brand new for half price. Since I’ve had it in my possession, I’ve gone a little nuts in the baking department.

I made challah for my coworkers. It was just a double batch of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe divided into 8 mini loaves a piece.

I made a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies twice. (That’s about 150 cookies.) (I think I’m done with cookies for awhile.)

And this past weekend, my parents, brother and sister-in-law and niece came for dinner. I obviously knew I wanted to use the mixer in some way (um, duh) but I wasn’t quite sure how until Friday afternoon. We considered Cornish pasties for about a minute, but since I had chicken already in the house, I landed on homemade chicken pot pie.

More research followed, and I finally settled on using this recipe as a base, but with homemade savory pie crust and some other minor modifications.

Savory Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick chilled butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped or freeze dried chives
1/4 to a 1/2 cup cold water

Use the flat mixer attachment on “stir” in your brand new KitchenAid Pro Plus 5 mixer. Ahem. Mix flour and salt, then add the chilled butter cut into small slices. Let it mix that up for a minute or so, still on “stir”, before adding the cheese and chives. Slowly add the water. The first pie I made had cheese but no chives, the second had chives but no cheese. I think both will be ideal, but it’s possible that with the extra bulk in the dough you’ll need more water. Less is more, but you can go up to a half cup without losing the ideal crust texture.

As soon as the dough sticks to the flat mixer thinger, take it out of the bowl. Quickly (and with minimal contact) gather it into a clump, divide into two equal amounts, wrap in cling wrap, hockey puck-ify and move to the fridge to chill for an hour. You know what I mean by hockey puck-ify, right? Flat, round disc. A little bit of flour on the counter while you do this is fine to keep it from sticking.

The main changes I made to the chicken pot pie recipe were increasing the chicken amount (to 1.75 pounds), replacing peas with edamame (vastly superior), and adding rosemary (yum). I also used unsalted butter for the roux, so I tweaked the kosher salt amount, but I still don’t think I added quite enough yet. I’ll need to tweak further.

Regarding the rosemary, I put four large stems in with the chicken, celery, carrots and edamame while they cooked on the stove top.

Even better, I threw in a couple pieces while prepping the roux, which smelled absolutely amazing. In both of these cases, I removed the stems before putting the pie together.

I added the sauce mixture to the chicken and vegetables (after they had been drained) rather than pouring it in afterwards. That ensured even sauce coverage and reduced risk of soggy pie crust bottom. Yay!

I also didn’t cut off the extra crust, opting instead for extra crusty deliciousness along the edge, and I brushed the entire top crust with milk before it went into the oven.

The first pie was prettier than the second, but this one is a better photograph.

I was pretty pleased with how easily this came together, and even with the chill time for the crust, it’s a pretty fast process.

On Saturday night, my brother said I should have made two so they could take one home. Sorry, Michael. I made the second one on Monday night, with plenty of leftovers for lunch today. Win!


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