All The Best Fine Foods is a Certified Good Food Fighter

We get into serious pie-making mode in All The Best kitchen at this time of year. A delicious savoury pie is the perfect warming comfort food.

Old cook books describe giant communal pies served at banquets and barn-raisings filled with rich, exotic mixtures of game, rabbit, pigeon, even swans and five-and-twenty blackbirds! Most commonly pies were created to provide a thrifty meal using up whatever the cook had on hand in the pantry. In times gone by the tin miners in Cornwall, England, took their pasties (usually a half-moon-shaped pastry filled with finely chopped steak, onions and potatoes) down the mines for a satisfying mid-morning snack. Farmers took cold veal and ham pies into the fields for lunch. Just about anything goes when it comes to making a savoury pie.

A really good pie is not ‘fast food’. The filling of meat and vegetables must be carefully cooked and seasoned, with the perfect amount of juiciness and flavour which is then baked in a good short crust pastry or topped with a flaky buttery pastry lid.

At All The Best the customer favourite, beyond question, is our traditional Chicken Pot Pie. (Judged #1 Chicken Pot Pie in Toronto by Post City Magazines this week…very exciting news!)

We make our pies extra tasty by including good chunks of fresh local chicken (both light and dark meat) and fresh carrots and celery all mixed together with just enough light Chicken Velouté Sauce made with our own chicken stock and flavoured with leeks and fresh herbs.

Chicken and Leek Velouté Sauce

You’ll find this sauce has many uses. Combine it with chicken to serve over noodles. Replace the chicken stock with fish stock and serve with fish or seafood. Add a dash of 35% cream if you like for extra richness.

2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
¼ cup (60 ml) butter
1 leek, white part only, chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh chopped tarragon
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh chopped chives
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, heat chicken stock over medium-low heat until just simmering.
In a large saucepan, melt butter (We sometimes add a little chicken fat to ramp up the flavour.) Add leek and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add stock about ¼ cup (60 ml) at a time, whisking diligently to ensure sauce is smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce reaches consistency to coat the back of the spoon, 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in tarragon and chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy and all the best.