(This was supposed to post last week during our cold, dreary week. So . . . save it for one of those days!) Sometimes you just want some good old fashioned comfort food. Something warm and comforting is especially good during the cold, dreary days of winter. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I want some yummy comfort food is Chicken Pot Pie. So, the other night when I was craving something warm and satisfying and good, I knew it had to be Chicken Pot Pie. The problem with this best of all comfort foods is that it isn’t particularly low in calories or fat. My “girl crush” Ina Garten has wonderful recipes for Chicken Pot Pie, but I couldn’t follow hers. I used her recipes for inspiration but I had to do something about all the butter, flour, and heavy cream Ina uses.
So, using a little creativity in the kitchen I came up with something so satisfying and good.
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 onions, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
2 cups (½-inch-diced) carrots
4 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces mushrooms, stems discarded; sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 cup cream
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, leeks and carrots and sauté over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add the cream, 2 teaspoons pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, taste for seasonings. Spray six oven proof bowls with cooking spray. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the bowls.
On a lightly floured area, roll each pastry to a square. Turn a spare serving bowl upside down on the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut a circle 1/2 inch larger than the edge of the bowl. Place a circle over each bowl filled with the chicken mixture. Brush the outer edges of the bowls with the egg wash. Sprinkle with pepper and make three 1-inch slits in each. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
Look at those crusts! Have you ever seen anything so perfectly beautiful? I felt like they were each perfect little masterpieces – almost too pretty to eat . . . Almost! And I can honestly say the inside, full of chunky pieces of chicken in a light, perfectly seasoned sauce full of great vegetables – was just as perfect as the outside!
Did you notice the absence of green peas? Feel free to add them if you love them, but I’ve just never been a fan . . .
What is your favorite comfort food? Do you think of chicken pot pie? Do you like green peas in yours?
Enjoy Your Day!