21 February 2012

Homemade Chicken Pot Pies


Slow Motion

Finishing up a few things last Wednesday evening I took an inelegant dive off a chair I was standing on. Falling was like slow motion as I grew in my realization that this was not going to end well.

When I hit the floor I knew something was broken. As it turned out I snapped my radius and spent the wee hours of Thursday morning discovering how finger traps, a set-up resembling a medieval torture device, can actually help realign the bone to prevent further injury until surgery. This Wednesday the doctor plans to fit my radius with a plate and some screws that will hold it all together again.

Meanwhile, my left arm is splinted and my left hand (yes, I am left-handed) is virtually useless except as a shelf on which to prop up my iPhone.


A Recipe of Comfort

While my time is passing in slow motion life goes on. My boys were on their way to Dallas to visit colleges. Thankfully my daughter, Kerrin of Brie My Love, was able to come home for the weekend to help out.

The list of what I needed help with this weekend was long and daunting. It could be discouraging but, as so often happens, time invested in the kitchen brought comfort. Kerrin found a recipe for Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. Then she dug through my cabinets till she produced a set of individual pie-sized ramekins. Before long she was stirring the filling and then a smooth sauce. After topping them with a pastry crust and some cute pastry cutouts she put them in the oven.

As the pot pies steamed invitingly, Kerrin put on Finding Neverland, and we watched Johnny Depp's sweet portrayal of J. M. Barrie and the relationship that inspired the classic tale of Peter Pan. Watching a compelling drama while waiting to dine on a fragrant pie filled with wholesome chunks of chicken and vegetables, bathed in a creamy sauce with the savor of onion and thyme and topped with a flaky butterfly shaped crust, a girl could almost forget her troubles; at least until she tries to awkwardly dig in... wrong-handed. Luckily Kerrin set my place with an oversized serving spoon, perfect for overcoming my challenges and scooping up every last delicious bite.



Homemade Chicken Pot Pies
Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen green peas
½ cup celery, sliced
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
¼ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1¾ cups chicken broth, plus more for cooking the first step, if desired
2/3 cup milk
2 unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425F.

1. In a large saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery. Add enough water (you can use chicken or vegetable broth instead, if desired) to cover the contents. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

2. Using the same large saucepan, melt the butter. Over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, celery seed and thyme until smooth and bubbly, Slowly stir in 1¾ cups chicken broth and the milk. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

3. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between six 10 or 12 ounce ramekins. Pour the hot sauce mixture evenly over the chicken mixture.

4. Cut six circles from the pie crust, each a little larger than the ramekin it will top. Cover the chicken mixture in each ramekin with a circle of dough, fitting the dough down onto the warm filling and pressing the edge decoratively against the side of the dish. Prick through each crust with a fork several times to vent. From remaining scraps of dough, cut decorative shapes with cookie cutters or a knife, if desired. Apply the shapes to the top crusts. Place the ramikins evenly on a sturdy baking sheet.

5. Bake at 425F for 30 – 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Allow pies to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

5 comments:

Alanna Kellogg said...

Ah heavens, Lisa. Good luck tomorrow ...

And you've still managed to post? Amazing.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Wow I'm impressed! A broken arm and a blog post?? Wow! The pot pies look delicious, I love the butterfly pastry on top. Hope your arm heals quickly!

Kathy : KY said...

Terribly sorry to hear about your injury. I broke my ankle several years ago, and couldn't manuever very well in the kitchen. So I sat with my foot up and gave my husband some cooking lessons. What a blessing for your daughter to come take care of you...praying for a speedy recovery!

grace said...

oh no! you poor gal--that's so unfortunate and i'm definitely sending happy and painfree thoughts your way!
AMAZING pot pies--the butterfly is an excellent touch.

Flowers said...

These look so yummy..and cute too! :)