Life is Good: and comforting!
To say that it is freeeeeeeeeeeeeezing in Minnesota is an understatement. This has been the worst winter that I have experienced here. It seems like they are getting worse and worse. It's a good thing that the other three seasons are so incredible or Minnie and I might have to break up. (Prayers for spring to arrive SOON are appreciated!)
As I walked to the bus stop in the cold and worse, wind (sigh) yesterday afternoon, I decided that comfort food was on the agenda for dinner. And what is more comforting on a cold winter's night than homemade chicken pot pie? It is super easy.
3 large chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups water
1 T. dried basil
1 t. dried thyme
1 T garlic
1 t. Pink Himalayan sea salt
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 pkg. frozen green beans (I use organic)
1/2 pkg. frozen sweet green peas (I use organic)
pie crust (use your favorite recipe or store-bought will do, too!)
1. Make your pie crust (or if you are using store-bought, take it out of the fridge or freezer). I use my grandma's recipe which makes enough for the bottom and top of a traditional pie. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large saute pan (here's the one I use), heat water to a boil and add chicken, herbs, carrots, and salt. When chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and once cool(ish), cute into chunks, cubes, or shred. (Your choice---I cut into chunks).
3. Remove half of the water, which is now a delicious, homemade chicken broth (also known as stock) and reserve in the refrigerator for another recipe (or if you are like me, give it to your children to slurp up like it is a fine delicacy! They love it!).
4. Add chicken back to the pan, along with the green beans and peas (or any vegetables that you and your family love) and cook for 5 minutes (so that the vegetables stay crisp).
5. Turn down heat to very low and one at a time, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour to the mixture, being sure to avoid lumps. The amount of flour you add depends on how your chicken cooks. This time, I added 10 tablespoons.
6. When your broth mixture turns opaque, turn off the heat on the pan.
7. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray (you can also use butter). Place pie crust in the bottom of a muffin tin. Make sure that there are not holes or other openings on the bottom or sides.
8. Fill the crusts with your chicken/vegetable mixture all the way to the top.
9. Cover each "pie" with pie crust. Seal the edges. Gently, cut an "X" through the top of the pie crust (this allows for steam to escape the pie).
10. Bake for 17-22 minutes. The time all depends on your oven, so start watching your pies at about 15 minutes. I used a giant, "Texas-sized" muffin tin this time. You can use a regular-sized one or even a traditional pie plate. The vessel you use will affect how long your pot pie needs to bake. This recipe made enough for 8 large muffin-sized pot pies.
11. Use a knife to carefully pop the pies out of the tin, allow a minute or two to cool and serve. We had ours with a spinach salad. And then we chased the kids around the house to work off the pie crust carbs! ; )