Tooting Arts Club’s exceptionally entertaining production of Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s glorious murderous musical, began in 2014 in Harrington’s, one of London’s oldest working pie shops. An impressively detailed replica of Harrington’s has now set up shop Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theater, including the pies…
The eight-member cast frequently performs atop the tables inches from the audience, or sits alongside us on the benches…Jeremy Secomd as Sweeney Todd and Siobhan McCarthy as Mrs. Lovett are two of the four holdovers from the London production, and their simultaneously chilling and hilarious performances are reason enough to make this a must-see show.
Click on any of the photographs by Joan Marcus to see them enlarged.
Truffle Chicken Pot Pie From ‘Sweeney Todd’
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
10 oz butter
3 oz cold water
Method: Cut butter into small pea-size pieces and place in freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour and salt in standing electric mixer and mix on slow speed with paddle attachment. Add the butter slowly, taking care that is does not jump out of the bowl. Mix loosely and then add cold water down the side of the bowl with mixer on slow, until the dough comes together. Remove from bowl and work into a ball with floured hands, then push down to a disk, wrap with plastic film and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll out on a floured surface to ¼-inch thickness and then place in a pie dish, crimping the edges. Cut away excess and add to remaining pie dough, re-roll to a ¼-inch thickness into a circle for the top.
2 chicken legs and thighs, deboned
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small dice
1 celery, chopped into small dice
1 vidalia onion, chopped into small dice
12 button mushrooms, sliced thin, or chanterelles if available
Method: Bring 3 quarts water to a boil and add chopped vegetables, except the mushrooms, to the water and cook lightly, about 3 minutes. Then add the chicken meat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove chicken, cool and chop into half-inch dice. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Boil the cooking liquid for 30 minutes to reduce the stock and when it is down to one quart of liquid, add 2 tablespoons of corn starch dissolved in cold water. Stir continuously with a whisk, bringing it back to the boil until the liquid thickens.
Strain and cool. Mix together the vegetables, chicken and mushrooms and moisten with the reduced chicken stock until it is like a thick ragout.
Prepare the pie: Prebake the bottom pie shell lined with aluminum foil at 350F for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and fill with the chicken vegetable mixture. Prepare an egg wash — two eggs and pinch salt — then brush the edges and cover with the dough circle, pressing firmly to seal the edge. Poke the surface several times with a fork to make air vents and then paint with egg wash. Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Serve warm.
Buy the pie at Barrow Street Theatre for the pre-show meal.