Ack. I’ve been down for the count for a while. We’re a month or so into the new school year, so I’ve been working long days and nights and feeling so tired. No energy for cooking. Then I was waylaid with a terrible stomach flu. Oh. My. God. It was awful and seemed to take forever to really clear up. No desire for cooking.
(I swear, despite my work-related hand-washing vigilance, I pick up every last germ from my students. I will be the first one down when the epidemic strikes.)
But I’m back! Back in black, as my good friends ACDC say. And my first foray back into cooking was chicken pot pie, inspired by the cover of the latest issue of Everyday Food. I didn’t have some of the ingredients the recipe in Everyday Food called for, such as THREE CUPS of chicken. Or peas (yuck!). And the four tablespoons of butter called for seemed excessive to me. And a whole onion seemed like A LOT of onion. I also didn’t have any fresh thyme, though I did have fresh rosemary. So I did a little swapping and tinkering, and I have to say, WATCH OUT MARIE CALLENDAR. Ha! These things are GOOD. You must make them. What a great autumn dish! I’m eating one as I write this. So is Robert. I can’t wait to eat another.
Chicken Pot Pies (adapted from Everyday Food)
Okay, these are really more like veggie pot pies with a dash of chicken. But that’s the beauty of these! You can really add anything you want! This recipe is my adaptation. If you’re interested in the original, you’ll have to get the October issue of the magazine. I couldn’t find it online anywhere. Sorry!
2-3 Tbs butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper
3 1/2 cups broth (I used Better than Bullion veggie broth, which I’ve recently developed an undying love for!)
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (I grilled mine)
Corn from one ear (I grilled mine along with the chicken, then cut it off the cob)
2 cups broccoli, cut into smallish pieces
Fresh rosemary to taste (I used maybe a tablespoon or so)
1 tiny sweet potato, cooked and diced
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 large egg yolk
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the onion, carrot, and rosemary and cook for about 5 minutes or so, ’til things really soften up. Now add flour and a dash of salt and cook until things brown up a little and smell sort of nutty (about 5 minutes). Stir stir stir, so nothing burns.
Now add the broth and whisk it a bunch because you don’t lumps. Turn up the heat a little and boil the heck out of things for about 5 minutes and stir as it all thickens up. After the boiling stage, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes (or less, if you’re impatient like me). Then add all of the veggies and chicken and stuff you prepped earlier. And some more salt and pepper, too.
Divide the mixture into four little oven-proof bowls or ramekins. I used two ramekins and two small vintage Anchor Hawking bowls. Refrigerate the mixture in the bowls for about 30 minutes or so.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut it into four squares, and then plop them on top of the bowls/ramekins. Cut little vent holes in the tops. Make an egg wash from the egg yolk and a splash of water and brush it over the tops of the pastry. Refrigerate the pies for about 15 minutes while the oven preheats (to 375 degrees!).
Bake the pies for about 35 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the innards bubble a bit through the vent holes. Please cool the pies a little before you eat them, or you will burn your tongue off.