Monday, November 25, 2013

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

For the month of October I was asked to contribute some kid friendly recipes for Capital Style Magazine. This is a local magazine here in Annapolis.  I asked my kids what they would consider "kid friendly" and my husband piped in,  chicken pot pie.

He said that this was a staple in his family and that his brothers, there were six of them, and his only sister, loved chicken pot pie as winter set in during the cold months in Oregon.  The rain in Oregon chills you to the bone; when you are walking from the bus to your door step, something warm for dinner is a great way to warm those chilly bones.

For me, chicken pot pie was always something my Mom bought pre-made in the freezer section when she had to work late.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it too. I didn't know any better and it beat having a bowl of cereal.  I am sure the flavors were a bit different, seeing how one was from scratch and one was store bought, but the same thought went into each: feed the children.  

I have one issue with chicken pot pie--soggy bottom crust.  I know some of you may love this and find it is delightful to your palette.  For me it is just mushy, icky and taste uncooked.  I decided to make my pot pies with no crust on the bottom. Instead I decided to top each one with a layer of pie crust and serve each individual pie with a set of pie crust shaped hearts.  This way the kids could dunk, break them up or eat them solo.  

I have learned a few things about being pregnant and having a baby.  I don't have time to make everything little thing from scratch.  I used to and I want to but the reality is, some days I am lucky to brush my hair and change my spit upon dirty shirt from the day before.  (I know some of you can relate or at least I hope you do).

You will find that I chose to buy a rotisserie chicken and pre-made pie crust.  PLEASE, if you have the time and cook from scratch make these for your pot pies and you will be rewarded with a wonderful treat.  Maybe next year this will happen for me.  (wink,wink)

Time is a juggling act right now.  One day I have lots of spare minutes and the next I have but a few minutes to spare.  When I was younger and over involved with too many obligations, I would get frustrated at this time game.

Not this time.

I treasure the days that I can hold Finnley for hours.  She is my last.  It is so weird looking into her eyes and knowing I have turned a mile stone. No more babies for me.  I am sad.  I take each day with stride and do the best I can.  Homeschooling Isabella takes priority over most things.  Once that is done then I can devote time to the house, laundry and work.

I have to remind myself of a saying that I have found myself saying to others, "there is a time and season; this time with your babies goes by super fast, enjoy it!"  I am taking my advice and enjoying it.

I hope that you find this chicken pot pie delicious.   I was able to make up a few extra and freeze them for use at a later date.

** I have added notations to the recipe to make this gluten free.  Notice instructions in bold.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Makes: 6 individual portions
Prep. Time:  20 minutes
Bake Time:  35 minutes (longer if frozen)

Preheat oven to 350.

2 packages of pre-made pie crust (I use a gluten free
pie crust from Pillsbury that is already to go).

For the Filling:

3 cups Rotisserie Chicken meat, diced
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 small yellow potatoes, diced small
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour (use white rice flour if gluten free)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme (optional)
Melted butter, to brush onto pie crust

1.  In a medium bowl combine: chicken pieces, carrots, garlic, yellow potatoes, and frozen peas. Set aside.

2.  In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk. Add chicken broth and cream.  Cook on medium until thickened, stirring frequently so the bottom does not burn..  Remove from heat.  Add creamy mixture to meat/veggie bowl.

3.  Using individual ramekins or individual foil pie tins, ladle filling into each one.  Leave 1/2 inch of head space.

4.  Unroll pie crust and cut 6 circles, one inch larger than top of ramekin.  I used a salad plate as my template.  Place pie crust on top of each and crimp crust. With a sharp knife cut three slits for the hot steam to escape.

5.  Brush each top with melted butter (optional).  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

6.  I used the left over pie crust to make hearts (bake according to instructions on box) to be served on the side of each ramekin.

***These freeze really well. Cover with foil, freeze and label for 30 days. To bake, preheat to 350 and bake for 40-45 minutes.  No need to thaw them first.

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