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Baking and Pastry for Culinary Students

I have been teaching the baking course for culinary students for a while now. Some students take to it very quickly and some fight it. Baking isn’t for everyone but encourage students to try it. We have a new course for 2013 and I think it’s a good one. Yesterday we made chicken pot pie. That was a revelation. I hadn’t made something like that for 15 years. It was terrific and fun to make. The lesson plan suggested poaching the chicken breast which I did for the first class. It was good. For the second section of the day, I sautéed the chicken and it was even better. I sweated the vegetables, added them to the veloute and then added the chicken. I cooled the filling before assembling the pie. The pie crust was 50 percent vegetable shortening which I never use either. I usually use 100 percent butter. The crust was very good and flaky. The pot pie came out great. I have been making pies for a long time. Usually I make sweet pies. The chicken pot pie was a great addition to a winter menu. I would suggest it for a hearty cold weather dinner. You won’t be disappointed.

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