Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cookin' Up Some Comfort (in Pot Pie Form!)

I love comfort food.  

With some caution, I'm going a little comfort food-crazy in the kitchen this weekend.  I feel the desire to prep some freezer meals and do some cooking, so I need to take advantage of that feeling, as it has become more rare recently.  I'm making 2 chicken pot pies a la my friend Amy, some skinny chicken parm, some more apple sauce, some cranberry sauce, some soup(s), and maybe a loaf or two of bread.  Then I want to try to find some dessert recipes to use up some of those trick or treat remains - we have a fairly aged neighborhood, I guess, so we ha a big stash leftover.

I'll be balancing the heavier meals with some lighter fare, so I'm prepping veggies and ingredients for stir fry, some light broth-based soups, and some open-faced sandwiches and things.  I'm going to attempt a meal plan for TWO weeks, and see what happens.  I'm not a fan of planning out the whole month, but I'll see if 2 weeks is the happy medium.  I'll share any favorable results next time I have a chance to hop on here.

Here's the pot pie recipe I really like - we don't like too much sauce - they can get soupy and soggy - and I really like making the sauce and chopping the veggies myself - it just FEELS more comforting!   I did these for a freezer meal swap once, and honestly, this is the first time in over a year I've been able to face it - I made 16 pot pies that time, and it did me in.    Just 2 this time, thank you very much.

Amy's Chicken Pot Pie
This recipe makes 2 pies.  Make one for dinner and freeze the other, or invite some friends over for a comfort food feast!

• 2 cups diced peeled potatoes (or use red potatoes, skin on)
• 2/3 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 3/4 teaspoon pepper
• 3 cups chicken broth (Swanson Natural Goodness works great)
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 4 cups cubed cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken or Thanksgiving turkey works great)
• 3-4 cups frozen mixed veggies (we like corn, peas & carrots for this)
• 2 double pastry for 2 (two) 9 inch double crust pie (try Pillsbury)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme and pepper until blended and flour taste is cooked out, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth and milk. bring to a simmer; mixture will thicken. remove from heat. Add the chicken, potatoes and frozen veggies.

Line two 9-in. pie plates with bottom pastry. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Fit remaining pastry to top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry (to release steam). Brush top crust with egg wash for a golden finish when baked (optional). Trim, seal and flute edges. Wrap in foil, and place in freezer bag.

To prepare, thaw in fridge. Bake potpies at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting (so the slices will hold their shape).

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