Monday, November 2, 2015

Day 2: Delicious Fall Entertaining.

I'm a warm-weather girl for sure (the hotter the better!), but if I had to pick a favorite season, it's Fall.

The changing trees. Boots and sweaters. And every day is perfect hair weather.

My other favorite thing about the Fall?

Comfort food.

Crock pots and casseroles. Chilis and stews. Braising and roasting.

One of my favorite meals to cook when we're entertaining is chicken pot pie. I know that CPP was in its heyday in the 70s, but it truly has made a delicious comeback.

My go-to Chicken Pot Pie recipe is from Ina Garten. It's creamy and hearty and the perfect cold-weather meal.

I've made these just like Ina, as little individual pies with crusts. However, this weekend, I deconstructed them a bit, and put my own little Halloween twist on them.

Get Ina's full recipe here; see below for my adaptation.

Chicken Pot Pie

This pumpkin "crust" would be perfect for Thanksgiving, too!

Ingredients – The Filling

  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts (boneless) OR 1 cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cups chicken stock (I use College Inn low sodium)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 stocks unsalted butter (butter=better)
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes (blanch them, trust me)
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Place chicken breasts in baking dish, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the chicken breasts in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, cut into cubes. 
    • If you're using a rotisserie chicken, simply remove meat from the bones and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.
  • In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the chopped onions over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent.
  • Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
  • Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce.
  • Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring until thick.
  • Add 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and heavy cream.
  • Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
  • Continue to cook the mixture on low for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Ingredients – The Crust

Instead of making a pie crust and individual pot pies (who has time for that?), I use refrigerated pie crust to create crust "toppers" for the chicken pot pie.
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature for 30 minutes then rolled out flat
  • seasonal cookie cutters
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Roll out pie crust on flat surface and use cookie cutters to cut into shapes
  • Place dough shapes on ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake until golden brown
To Serve

Ladle chicken pot pie filling into bowls. Top each with a crust.


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