Hey people! Just wanted to introduce my next guest blogger. Virginia Willis shared some killer recipes, but she is going on to bigger and better things (check her out on the Food Network). So today I’d like you to meet our new recipe expert, Rebecca Lang. She’s has some pretty awesome taste buds! Enjoy. – TY
As a child, I took for granted the fact that no matter what was going on outside the walls of our house, time seemed to stop each night when we ate as a family. I never thought about the effort that was put into making those meals or all the after school activities that had to coincide, but I sure loved the end result. When homemade chicken pot pie was on the table, we all gathered and scooped our way into warm comfort.
During this winter that seems to have many of us shivering in the snow, no matter where we live, I’m making sure my family comes home to an inviting kitchen. It’s one filled with food that makes the four of us feel like the only ones on Earth. When we sit around the table, every trouble from the day disappears and each schedule melts away. Even the weather appears better.
Chicken pot pie is a treasure to make at home and is the epitome of a one-dish meal. The key to keeping the puff pastry perfectly crispy is making sure the filling is hot when you add the cold pastry. Cool filling equals a soggy top. To dress up your pot pie, try the recipe in small skillets too (pictured).
Either size, casserole or individually served, is just as satisfying. Turn on your oven and warm up your house wherever you choose to call home. It only takes an apron and some groceries to make the winter stand still for a few moments. After all, it’s those that we’ll remember forever.
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Hands-on Time: 36 min.
Total Time: 2 hr.
- 3⁄4 lb. carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups chopped roasted or rotisserie chicken
- 11⁄2 cups sweet peas (if frozen, thaw)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed but cold
1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Cut carrots and celery into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices. Cut onion into quarters. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil; sprinkle with 1⁄2 tsp. pepper and 1⁄4 tsp. salt. Bake at 400˚ for 55 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
2. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in chicken broth; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.
3. Cut roasted onion into bite-size pieces and add to Dutch oven. Stir roasted carrots and celery, chicken, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. pepper and 1⁄2 tsp. salt into broth mixture. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Roll puff pastry sheet into a 15- x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Arrange pastry over hot filling; trim off excess, tuck edges in, and seal to edge of dish. Brush pastry with egg mixture using a pastry brush. Cut 5 to 6 slits in top of pastry to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For appetizer-size pot pies, arrange 12 lightly greased 31⁄2-inch cast-iron skillets on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Spoon a scant 1⁄2 cup of hot filling into each skillet. Cut puff pastry into 12 (approximately 4-inch) squares and lay 1 atop each skillet. Brush pastry with egg mixture, and cut slits in tops. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
For more information about Rebecca Lang, visit www.rebeccalangcooks.com
Reprinted with permission from Southern Living Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang, copyright © 2012. Published by Oxmoor House.
Photo credit: Jennifer Davick