I’m not sure if you know this, but New England weather is predictably unpredictable. Threats of “Snowtober” have Massachusetts residents hemming and hawing.
Me? I’m embracing this weather!
As soon as September rolls around and Labor Day is gone, the only thing I mourn is the loss of my suntan. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. I love the changing leaves and I even love the beautiful snow. (Until I have to drive in it, at least.) I don’t think I could live somewhere warm. I need the change of the seasons. More importantly, what place would comfort foods have in tropical climates? Would we still crave fall and winter favorites like chili, soup, mashed potatoes, pot roast, turkey dinners, and apple crisp?
It’s just not something I’ll willing to find out on my own.
For Lloyd’s birthday, I decided I would feed him like a king throughout the week. (Let me point out that he doesn’t eat too shabby the rest of the year!) However, I decided I would prepare some dishes we don’t normally eat and try to incorporate lots of his favorite ingredients. One dish that Lloyd really enjoys (or so he’d told me!) is chicken pot pie. I’d never made one from scratch, despite intentions to make one earlier in the year. I’ll admit, I’ve never been a big fan of chicken pot pie. The frozen variety (Banquet Brand, to be exact) popped up in our freezer from time to time as a kid, but I never really enjoyed it. Having never made this dish, I was a bit hesitant at how it would turn out. I feared a tasteless mush with gluey texture. The pressure was on to deliver. After researching many recipes, they all sounded fairly similar and relatively easy. When I mentioned to Lloyd that I would be making chicken pot pie for dinner, his face lit up.
Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 C white onion, diced
- 1 C carrots, diced
- 1 C celery, diced
- 1 C potato, diced
- 2 tsp. thyme, chopped
- 4 C low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 3/4 C flour
- 1 C frozen corn
- 1 C frozen peas
- 1-2 sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp. water
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and cubed chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through. Set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, melt butter and add onion, carrots, celery, potato and thyme. Cook until soft.
Add one cup of chicken broth and stir. Slowly add flour until mixture has thickened. Add remaining broth and continue to stir until well combined. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, add corn, peas, and chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
Pour the mix into baking dish or divide among baking dishes.
While the mix comes to room temperature, roll out puff pastry. Roll out enough to cover the bowl or bowls, allowing a bit of and overhang.
Cover bowl with pastry. Cut vents with a knife.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolk with water. Brush the egg wash over the pastry. Let prepared bowl sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Place bowl on a cookie sheet and bake until top is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Serve warm.
*Tip: Filling freezes well. Let come to room temperature before pouring into baking dish and covering with puff pastry.*
With the help of my Pampered Chef Food Chopper, I was able to shave time off the prep as well as avoid the monotony of dicing vegetables. Using puff pastry is another time-save. The rest of the meal came together rather quickly, as it used staples like frozen veggies and chicken broth. I soon realized this dish was not nearly as intimidating as I had assumed. After the filling came together and cooled a bit, a quick taste test confirmed I was in the clear. I impatiently awaited the final product.
My first “from scratch” chicken pot pie tasted nothing like the the pot pies of my youth! This had excellent flavor and every bite was creamy and loaded with tender veggies and juicy chicken. Savory and studded with thyme, the broth was excellent for dipping the perfectly flakey and buttery crust.
I’ll trade an October dusting of snow for the guarantee of comfort food cravings like this any day.