One of Carla’s favorite winter-time meals is a warm, creamy chicken pot pie. The recipe is pretty quick and easy, and is definitely one the kids can help with, especially at the end.
- 1 lb. of chicken – either breast or thighs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil to cover the the bottom of the Dutch oven
- Diced vegetables of whatever is in season (one of each)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- Ready Made biscuit dough (i.e. Pillsbury)
We need start off by to dicing up about a pound of chicken – breasts are fine, boneless thighs have even more flavor. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown it in a large skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary. Remove it to a plate once browned and set aside.
While the chicken is browning, dice up some vegetables. We had a great summer in the garden, so I’m using a parsnip, carrot, and zucchini from the back yard, along with a small onion and a couple cloves garlic. You can also use potatoes, turnips, or yams here, depending on your tastes and what you have on hand. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and once the chicken is done cook until soft and lightly browned.
Add back the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and sprinkle on about two tablespoons of flour. Cook, stirring, for about two minutes, long enough for the flour to coat everything and to cook out the raw flour taste. Then add in a cup of frozen green peas and a cup and a half of chicken stock. Stir, making sure to scrape up as many of the brown bits as possible off of the bottom of the pan. Stir in a half cup of heavy cream and cook for a minute or two until thickened and you can’t find any more brown bits to scrape off the bottom of the pan.
Arrange 4-6 ramekins on a cookie sheet and fill them evenly with the mixture. To cover the chicken and veggies, you can cut circles out of puff pastry. But what I like to do to keep it quick, easy and fun for kids, is to use a can of ready-made biscuits. Smash them flat between your hands and stretch them into circles large enough to fill the ramekins (the kids LOVE this part!), then lay them on top.
Bake in a 350-degree over for about 20 minutes until the biscuit (or puff pastry) is nicely browned and the sauce is bubbling underneath. Allow them to cool off for at least 10 minutes, then grab a spoon and dig in!