Friday, January 2, 2015

Chicken Potpie and a huge Cuisinart FAIL

I roasted a chicken earlier this week, and I had a container of shredded meat in the icebox that needed to be used up.

I pondered several options: fajitas, quesadillas, bbq, stir fry, fried rice, etc. I decided to wonder through my often-forgotten digital collection of recipes.  Since the advent of Pinterest, I have completely neglected both my cookbook collection and my digital recipe collection.  It's so much easier to just type in what I'm looking for in Pinterest, I never look anywhere else anymore.  But really, that's crazy!  I have so many other recipe resources right in my own house!

After looking around,  I decided on potpie.  I haven't made it in ages, and I found a biscuit pie crust recipe I'd forgotten about, and this was a perfect opportunity to dust it off and take it for another spin.

Credit where credit is due... the crust recipe is from an amazing food blog called "Closet Cooking."  I have been following this blog for a few years now, and I always get wonderful ideas from Kevin's posts!  I followed his recipe exactly, except for the addition of some dried rosemary instead of the fresh basil.

Unfortunately for me, my Cuisinart food processor decided to break in the middle of the crust preparation.  I was using it in pulse mode to make the crust, when it decided to get stuck in the on position.  The only way I could get it to turn off was to unplug it.  When I plugged it back in, it turned on again, and wouldn't shut off.  I finished the crust by pulsing the ingredients by repeatedly unplugging the processor.  Not fun.

After speaking with the folks over at Cuisinart, I am sad to say they expect me to pay to ship this huge 14 cup food processor to Arizona to get it repaired.  Now, don't get me wrong, if I had broken the machine and it was my fault, I wouldn't mind.  But I didn't.  It's not like I threw it out of a moving truck, or tried to mix cement with it.  I was making a pie crust.  And speaking with supervisors got me nowhere.  And to make matters worse, once I got off the phone, my husband started doing research about it, and Cuisinart has awful ratings on Amazon.  In one case, Amazon even got involved to make it right for a customer- because Cuisinart wouldn't.  And all the issues were the same as mine- an unresponsive button panel.  AND- everyone says that Cuisinart customer service is awful.  I can say from my experience, that the first girl I spoke with (Andi) was very sweet and helpful, but when I complained about paying for shipping, she transferred me to Jason, who was not helpful at all.  He told me that I could repeat my complaint as long as I wanted, but they had done all they could do.  Nice.  He also told me, when I asked who I else I could complain to, that the person over him only had an address, no phone number or email address.  Really?

All this has me really bummed out, because 2 years ago when I received this food processor from my husband, Cuisinart was all I wanted.  I wouldn't even let him look at anything else.  As far as I was concerned, Cuisinart was the gold standard for professional grade food processors.  When I contacted them today, I didn't even think about the shipping, figuring that Cuisinart was a good company that would stand behind its product and do whatever it took to make things right.  I was SO WRONG.

Needless to say, I don't have much choice but to pay the shipping to have the machine repaired.  We payed way too much for the processor not to.  However, when this one dies- and that may not be far off- I am researching KitchenAid or other companies.   I have lost all faith in Cuisinart.

Ok.  Sermon over.  I find myself feeling guilty about this, because I should be thankful that I live a life where I can afford a 14 cup professional grade food processor in the first place.  I am so blessed and there are far bigger problems in the world.

On with the potpie story...

As for the filling for my potpie, I figured I'd wing it.  As they say on "Top Gear:"  How hard can it be?

Here's what I threw together.  I put 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a 12inch skillet (not non-stick) and let it melt.  Meanwhile I chopped half a sweet onion, 4 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and half a pound  of mushrooms and threw it in the melted butter.  I found some dried rosemary in the pantry, so I added 2 teaspoons or so of that.  I salted the veggies and let them sauté about 10 minutes.  While that was happening, I thawed 2 cups of homemade chicken stock in the microwave.

After 10 minutes, I added about a tablespoon of olive oil (to add some fat so I could make a roux).  I sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of flour in the veggies and stirred it for about 2 minutes, letting the flour cook a little.  Then I added in the 2 cups of stock, stirred it and let it come to a boil.  After a few minutes, it started to thicken up nicely.  I added in about 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken, and a few handfuls of frozen peas and corn.  Finally, I took it off the heat and added about an eighth of a cup of heavy cream and tasted it again for seasoning.  At that point, I left it off the heat to thicken up more for about 10 minutes.

While that was happening, I took my 2 rolled out biscuit crusts out of the ice box.  I poured the filling into the bottom crust, and put on the top crust.   I sealed it the best I could, then brushed it with a little heavy cream mixed with water.  I put the whole shebang on a cookie sheet (to catch any overflow) and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  I let it sit about 15 minutes before I cut into it.

The potpie turned out well.  Whenever my husband goes for seconds, I figure I've done something right.

The food processor thing still has me aggravated, but my hands are pretty tied there.  If anyone has any other suggestions about how to get Cuisinart to respond more favorably, please let me know.  I am planning to write a letter to the address I was given.  But I still find it hard to believe there isn't an email or a phone number for a contact above the level of a floor manager.  I hate to be one of those people who spreads negative things on social media, but honestly, if a company won't be reasonable, and won't make it easy for you to be heard, what choice do I have?  I don't think a company as successful as Cuisinart should treat customers like this.  If their product fails under normal working conditions, they should make it right and pay the shipping.  Seems pretty simple to me.  If they end up paying a lot of money for shipping, maybe they should build a better product.

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