Chicken pot pie is on the list of ultimate comfort foods in my opinion, my husband and I both have memories of the frozen variety from our youth. I recall thinking that they could have been better, my husband’s memories are less favorable; when I first made them several years ago, he was concerned for the outcome. I can no longer recall what, if any, modifications I made. My sister had given me a gift of a subscription of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, some recipes were good as written, others were simple and needed “tweaking”.
(I’ll offer a brief interlude of thanks here to my grandmother whose birthday would have been this past week. My mother has told me that she could also look a a recipe and fix it before making it. I was looking through a few of her recipes that I have of hers this week and I can see her notes on them, similar to my own. I didn’t recognize where the gift came from until my mother told me, and I would love to go back and thank her.)
Back to the pot pie…
As with many of my recipes, it is not difficult, but it does take a bit of time. I have used a variety of types of cooked chicken from leftovers as well as making chicken to use in the pot pies. Sunday I shredded a rotisserie chicken; your selection will modify the flavor slightly, but not negatively.
Before I started the pot pies, I made the Irish Beef Stew for Thursday’s dinner, as I haven’t made that previously I’ll have to taste it before I write about it.
My in-laws are wintering in Florida and my boys have explained that their absence does not mean that salads can be omitted from Sunday dinner so, I also made an Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado, the key is a very sweet orange. The ginger and shallot mix is not for the faint of heart (or those prone to heartburn); a ginger sesame dressing would stand in well.
I also wrapped up the meal with one of my favorite cakes. I like cakes a lot, but I’m not a particular fan of those that are covered in sticky sweet frosting. This is beyond simple and requires no frosting; the berries and and sugar form a perfect topping. My second reason for putting this high on the list is how easy it is; aside from softening the butter this goes from ingredients to the pan within 15 minutes. Last the raspberries always remind me of picking rasperries as a child, wandering through the brambles, trying to avoid the thorns; the sweetness was always the perfect reward. Yesterday I made it with blackberries instead of raspberries; they just looked better when I was at the market.
Chicken Pot Pie
Prep 35 minutes ∙ Cook 45 minutes ∙ Makes 6 pies ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Everyday Food | October 2009
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion, medium, diced
- 1 carrot, large, diced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups chicken, cooked, cut into 1″ pieces or shredded (~1 pound)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1½ tsp thyme leaves, fresh, chopped
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg yolk
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among six 12-ounce baking dishes; refrigerate until room temperature, about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to an 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 6 rounds, ½ inch larger than dishes; with the tip of a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; top potpies with pastry and brush with egg wash. Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.
Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado
Makes 4 servings ∙ Source Epicurious.com
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon (generous) Asian sesame oil
- 1 navel orange
- 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
Cut off peel and white pith from orange. Cut orange into 1/3-inch rounds; cut rounds crosswise in half. Add spinach to dressing; toss to coat. Add avocado and orange; toss gently.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Cook 25-30 minutes ∙ Makes Makes 6 Servings ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Gourmet | June 2009
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1½ Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk, well shaken
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh (about 5 ounces)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9″ round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and ⅔ cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1½ tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10-15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
Delicious when served warm with vanilla ice cream