Friday, February 25, 2011
Favorite Comfort Food
With the chicken that I had left from making my own chicken stock I made one of our favorite comfort foods - chicken pot pie! Not the healthiest meal out there, but with only one crust it takes away a ton of the extra fat. Definitely not the healthiest meal of the week since we had coconut cream pie for dessert too. Ryan's birthday was Valentine's Day and he was out of town on business, so I finally got around to making his second favorite dessert (the other being - chocolate mousse pie, has been relegated to once a year and we had it for Christmas Eve).
In addition to the pot pie I made a hot chicken appetizer dip which we ate along with some other snacks for a snacky style lunch and made chicken quesadillas for lunch twice. So, out of that one chicken I got 10 pint size canning jars of stock plus 5 two cup Ziploc containers; one dinner; and about five lunches (counting the left-overs from the pot pie) for a family of four (with small eaters). Not to mention all the meals the stock will aid in making. Pretty good deal, huh?
Although I have tried different whole wheat crust recipes, I can't seem to find the one that I thought was rather decent. If you happen to have one that you like, please pass it along so that I can give it a try. I did find this one that looks interesting and would be worth a try. One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it is so easy and so quick to make. I have tried other pot pie recipes that were also very good, but a bit more time consuming, so I keep coming back to this one. The original recipe came from the box of the Pilsbury pie crust, but they no longer have the recipe on the box. Yes, I do sometimes use store bought pie crust. I guess it is one of those things that I don't particularly enjoy making. I just wish Pilsbury would start selling a whole wheat version - so that we could get a bit of health out of the pie crust too. Anyway, on to the recipe. UPDATE - I have finally found a whole wheat pie crust recipe that we actually like. See bottom of page for recipe.
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
1 pie crust (store bought or homemade - whichever you prefer)
1/3 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1/3 cup white wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 to 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or broth)
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups (16 oz bag) frozen mixed vegetables
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and potatoes and cook until tender.
Add flour to make a roux, cooking for a couple of minutes. Gradually stir in milk and then broth. If you use all-purpose flour, you will likely need more liquid and if you use white wheat you will need less. Stir until bubbly and thickened. Add salt and pepper at this time - if you salted your stock you will need less, whereas if you did not salt your broth you will need more. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of chicken boullion to give it some added flavor. I like lots of freshly ground pepper, but season to taste.
Add shredded chicken or meat and thawed veggie mix. Pour chicken mixture into 9 inch or 9.5 inch pie plate.
Cover with pie crust and use your fingers to create a decorative edge. Cut a few slits in the top to vent and voila - you are ready to bake! Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let stand at least five minutes before serving. You may want to put the pot pie on a cookie sheet or put the sheet on the rack below - mine has a tendency to overflow (even in the 9.5 inch pie plate)!
Side notes: I have added mushrooms (to the step with the onions and potatoes), so if you like mushrooms - go ahead and add them to your potpie. Thyme is probably my favorite herb, so it has been known to make it's way into my potpie from thyme to time:) Feel free to add your favorite spice(s) to your pot pie. Make it your own!
For a printable version of this recipe (without pictures) click here.
Did you try making the chicken stock yet? If you did, what did you do with the chicken meat?
UPDATE - Whole Wheat Pie Crust
1 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or spelt flour or a combination of both)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Palm Shortening or Butter (my preference is the palm shortening)
1/2 cup (or less) cold water
I use my food processor to cut the flour, salt, and shortening, but you could use a pastry blender or fork. Again, I add the cold water slowly to my food processor until it forms a ball. If doing by hand, add water slowly until it forms a cohesive mass. With floured hands, make into a round ball and flatten on a floured pastry cloth or board. Roll out until desired thickness and large enough to cover your pot pie. Trim the edges and flute/pinch to form a decorative border. With the extra pie dough, you can always do something fun for dessert, like small fruit tarts like this. I used a muffin tin to form the tarts and baked at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.