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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Spinach and Bacon Quiche

quiche

This is a great go to recipe in our home.  When my son was first learning how to eat, this was a major hit with him.  My daughter tried it tonight, and she too loved it (although I was picking out the bacon pieces).  It’s a great dish to sneak in some good spinach.  Most of all, I love how I can make it for dinner and then reheat it for breakfast and lunch.  How can you not enjoy pie dough for all three meals?!?!

Ingredients
Pie dough for a 9″ pie or tart pan
6 oz. bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 minced garlic
1 tbs. olive oil
~5 cooked bacon strips
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper
A dash of nutmeg
1 cup cheese (cheddar or gruyere)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

You will need to blind bake your pie crust.  This means slightly baking your pie crust, that way your crust and filling will finish at the same time.  To do this, line your crust with parchment paper (or foil) and fill with pie weights (or dry beans you have lying around).  Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the weights and poke the dough all over with a fork.  Then pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

While your dough is baking, cook your bacon strips.  You can do a quick short cut and buy microwavable bacon too.  Just make sure your bacon is pretty crispy to give your quiche more texture.  I feel like soggy bacon gives you a more ham-type texture.  When your bacon is done, finely chop and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Saute your shallots until they become translucent.  Add half of the baby spinach and cover it for 2-3 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt down.  Then add the rest of the spinach and cover again for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and mix for another minute or two, then place mixture in a bowl and set aside.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix the milk, heavy cream, eggs, pepper, and nutmeg.  Set custard aside.

When your pie crust is done blind baking, add the spinach mixture and evenly spread.  Then add the bacon and cheese.  Slowly add your custard mixture making sure things don’t overflow.  Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes (your quiche should be firm, but jiggle a bit).  Allow your quiche to cool for 10 minutes and serve.

quiche2You can omit the bacon if your baby isn’t ready to eat it (which I would do with Sammy).  I also didn’t add any salt because I feel like you get enough saltiness from the bacon.  So if you omit the bacon, you may want to add salt (unless you are baby led weaning, in which case you are probably becoming very familiar with your salt shaker by now).  Like I said earlier, such a great go to dish!