Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Ellie has been refusing to eat meat and vegetables recently.  She basically lives off yogurt, graham crackers and the occasional banana.  My goal to make one meal for the whole family was thrown out the window in an effort to get her to just eat anything.  I didn't care if my dinner consisted of a piece of cheese and a pickle* as long as Ellie was happy and well fed.
Today that all changed.  I found a meal that I love and that Ellie will devour:

Chicken Pot Pie

Imagine a light shining from the heavens and angels singing because when she at her entire dinner tonight, that's how it felt.  Now, I realize chicken pot pie isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but I'm not saying you should eat it all the time.  I'm just saying you absolutely should eat it.  It's awesome.  It also has the misconception of being time consuming and difficult, but not my recipe.  Super quick and super easy with very few ingredients.

Ellie's Chicken Pot Pie

1 chicken breast, cubed and sauteed (if you one leftover that's even better!)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk (or 2%, but not skim)
1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrots, or any mix of veggies
1 roll of refrigerated pie dough (you could make your own in a big batch, portion it and keep it in the frig or freezer, but that's another story)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 ramekins, or small oven safe bowls

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1. In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter.
2. Whisk in the flour to create a rue.
3. Let the rue cook for a minute or two, but continue to move it around the entire time so it doesn't burn.
4. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking.
5. Continue to stir/whisk the mixture every couple minutes until it thickens.  It doesn't take very long.  You'll know its done when it has reached about the consistency of heavy cream.  Congratulations, you just made bechamel sauce!  Add cheese and pasta and you've made macaroni and cheese from scratch!  (This is the stage where I added the salt and pepper, but not much because I'm feeding it to a toddler.)
6. Add the sauteed chicken and peas and carrots to the cream sauce. Stir until everybody is coated.
7. Spoon into ramekins.
8. Roll out your dough and cut into quarters.
9. Lay the dough on top of the ramekin.  You could use egg wash to make the dough stick, but I just pressed down a little.  It'll stick, its buttery dough.
10.  Cut a little hole in the top of the dough so the filling can vent.  To finish the top you could brush it with egg wash or milk and sprinkle with a little salt.
11.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and delicious. 

Dig in!

So, store bought pie crust always has two rolls in the box.  I only used one roll for the pot pies, so of course I felt compelled to use the other.  I couldn't let it go to waste!  Wasted pie crust, in this family, is like a felony.  I had a few fresh blueberries that I was actually saving for the next morning's pancakes, but the pancakes would live.  We have bananas.  And I had some of Ellie's cooked apples that she was currently refusing to eat.  Perfect!  I had turnovers!

I started by cutting the crust into quarters, just like I had for the pot pies.  For the blueberry filling I dusted the blueberries with cornstarch.  This would soak up the juice when the blueberries burst and would keep the dough from getting wet.  For the apples I dusted them with a little brown sugar and cinnamon.  The brown sugar creates this caramel apple effect, which is super yummy.  You simply place the filling in the middle and fold the dough in half.  Be sure to seal the dough really well around the edges.  Then brush the top with egg wash, milk or even water and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden. 
You could put anything inside these.  I also had marshmallows and chocolate I really wanted to use, but I didn't have anymore dough.  You could even do the pot pie filling in a turnover form and have pot pies to go!  You can put anything in pie dough because pie dough is the best!

*this was a regular lunch for me for about the first two months of Ellie's life

**for leftover scraps, don't throw them away!  Roll them together into one flat piece, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and top with little pieces of butter.  Bake at 425 degrees until golden and enjoy!  My family called these "crispies" and they are the best part of pie making!


Jessi said...

Mmm... Looks delish!

Sleep Goblin said...

Helloooo portioned pie dough in my freezer from the last time I made an apple pie!!!!

Emily said...

I'm interested, why not skim milk?

Lisa said...

Emily, skim milk won't create the thick sauce you want. There's too much water.