Chicken Pot Pie

chicken_pot_pie

It’s beginning to get a little cooler here, which I hate because I love summer.  However, I do like the comfort foods that are associated with fall and winter–stews, roasts, and pot pie!  It was a rainy day when I made this last week and I had leftover rotisserie chicken, so pot pie it was!  This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, so you know it’s good!!!

Ingredients
2 cups shredded chicken
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tbs. unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups diced carrots, blanched
10 oz package frozen peas
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Pie crust
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, heat up chicken stock and bouillon cubes, making sure the cubes are fully dissolved.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add onions until they become translucent.  Add flour and turn the burner to low.  Stir mixture thoroughly until it becomes a very light brown, very wet sand with onion mixture.  Add stock and stir until it becomes thick.  Add salt, pepper, and heavy cream.  Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.  Then add chicken, carrots, and peas; mix well.

Divide mixture into 4 ovenproof bowls.  Divide pie crusts into 4 pieces to cover the bowls.  Brush some egg wash on the edges of the bowl, then place pie crust.  Crimp and seal crust over the bowl.  Brush crust with egg wash, sprinkle pepper (and sea salt) on crust, and then cut 3 small slits into the crust.  Place bowls on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the crust is golden brown.

Cook’s Notes
This can be a baby led weaning recipe.  I would either take a baby portion of the crust and stew and have it sit in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Or I would just cook the crust separately and serve the warmed stew and crust.  The stew bit is already cooked, but when it comes out of the oven it is soooooo piping hot.  My son’s pot pie sat for an hour, even after we put an ice cube in, before it was cool enough for him to eat.

To save time, I always use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  A whole chicken costs $4.99 where I am, and we never eat an entire one for dinner.  So I repurpose the leftover chicken into the pot pie.  It’s easier and saves me time.  I also buy pie crusts just because it’s easier and saves me time.  But I know some people like to make their own crusts, which you can do of course.

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Braised Chicken and Kale

braise_chicken_kale

So this is a go to recipe in our home.  It is a very light, healthy meal that’s also rather filling.  That’s because I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light.  I end up making it once a week and I feel healthier for doing so (although I really don’t like kale and can’t wait for that food trend to end).

Ingredients
2 tbs. canola oil
4 chicken thighs
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup flour
5 garlic cloves, minced
16oz package chopped kale
14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the canola oil.  Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Place chicken, skin side down first in oil.  Render out most of the fat from the skin, about 5 minutes.  Then flip over chicken and brown for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from dutch oven.

Take half of the kale and put in dutch oven.  Stir and then cover for 2 minutes to let the kale wilt down a bit.  Then take the remaining kale and garlic and add to the dutch oven.  Stir and cover again allowing the kale to wilt all the way down.  Then add tomatoes and its juices and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom bits off the dutch oven.  Then bring mixture down to a simmer.  Place chicken back inside the dutch oven.  Cover and place in the oven for about 50 minutes (or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165°F).

Remove from oven when done.  Take chicken out and add vinegar to the veggies.

Cook’s Notes
I actually serve this with a side of rice because we can’t live without carbs in this house.  I’m sure it would go great with potatoes, or as pictured above.

This is actually a really great baby led weaning recipe.  Just take the skin off and shred the meat.  And make sure you give the kale without the rib pieces as those are far too tough to gum.  I mix it all up in a bowl with rice and serve it to my kids.  My daughter actually preferred the kale over the meat.