Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a taping of abc’s talk/cooking show, The Chew. Being in the audience of a tv show is something I’ve always wanted to do, but until now I just hadn’t gotten around to it. It was a lot of fun! The episode I attended airs on November 21 at 1pm (12 pacific), but be sure to tune in throughout the holiday season for easy recipe and craft ideas. You can also check out their recipes (or request free tickets to attend a taping yourself!) on their website.
My first impression of the studio was that it was really small, but the made use of the space really well. The counters were all on casters so they could be moved around and rearranged as needed (I wish my counters at home did that!) I was also a little star-struck by the hosts. If you’ve never watched the show the hosts are Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz, and Clinton Kelly – so much talent in one room! They all seemed to get along really well and seemed really genuine. I could see the teleprompters from where I was sitting and a lot of the show was ad-libbed… it was nice to know that every word wasn’t scripted. During the breaks, the hosts all made an effort to come talk to the audience members too, which was nice. I shook Mario Batali’s hand!
The group of bloggers that I was with was seated at the “tasting table” which meant that we got to sample all of the food that was prepared for the episode. We attended the “Thanksgiving Spectacular” so it was a Thanksgiving feast! Each host, except for Clinton, made one dish. Here are my thoughts:
- Carla Hall (you might remember her from Top Chef) made the turkey. She brined it – always a good idea – then split it into pieces so that it would cook faster, which I thought was a great idea. She also started it in a pan on the stove to help brown and crisp the skin. Unfortunately, the skin on my piece wasn’t crisp at all and the meat was kind of dry. Kind of a disappointment.
- Mario Batali’s mashed potatoes stole the show and totally made up for the dry turkey. He used tons of roasted garlic and olive oil instead of butter (the were both vegan and cholesterol free!) After eating at one of his restaurants last fall, I wouldn’t expect anything less than stellar from Batali and he definitely delivered. He also shared a great tip – keeping the whole potatoes in the pot of water until right before you’re ready to mash and serve them will prevent them from drying out.
- As expected, Michael Symon also turned out an awesome dish: dressing with bread, wild rice, and sausage. I loved the texture that the rice gave it! He added a custard to keep everything rich and creamy, then baked it in a shallow pan so there were loads of crispy bits. Yum! I’m going to be making this one at home very soon.
- Daphne Oz’s cranberry and apple chutney was popular, but I wasn’t a fan. I thought it was bland and the apples made it too sweet. I liked that she added pomegranate seeds though – they were a nice twist on cranberry sauce.
- Clinton Kelly didn’t cook, but spent most of the time narrating. He also sang, which was equal parts hilarious and horrifying. He has a good voice though!
Since Michael Symon’s recipes are so great, I just had to make another one yourself I’ve been craving pot pies ever since buying these little bowls, so I gave his a try, making a few adjustments here and there to make the recipe easier and to make individual portions (you can’t see it in these photos, but they have moose on them! There’s a photo on facebook). I used rotisserie chicken, but this would also be great with leftover turkey as well. This dish was a huge hit (Shawn especially loved the little onions) and one that I’ll be making again.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Total Time: 60 minutes
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Turkey Pot Pie
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup Frozen Pearl Onions
- 1 cup Finely Diced Carrots
- 1 small Potato, peeled and finely diced
- meat from 1 small Rotisserie Chicken, skin discarded (about 2 cups)
- 1/3 cup Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 3 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Orange, juiced
- 1 cup Peas
- 1/3 cup Fresh Parsley
- 2 tubes Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
- Sea Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne
- Heat oven to 375. In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, potato, an chicken. Reduce heat to low and add flour and cayenne; cook stirring constantly 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and orange juice. Simmer 3 minutes, or until broth begins to bubble and thicken. Add the peas and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between 6 bowls.
- Unroll the crescent roll dough; roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut each sheet into 4 squares (discard extra dough or reserve for another use). Top each bowl with a pastry square, pulling it gently so it comes down the sides of the bowl a little. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling hot.