Sunday, May 29, 2011

Comfort is... Chicken Pot Pie

2 years can easily be a very long or very short amount of time. It can go by in a instant or it can creep slowly along. A lot of heartbreak, a lot of soul searching and a lot of happiness can happen in 730 days. The way a person can grow and change and become who they've always wanted to be can be accomplished. Realizing dreams, letting go of the things that hold you back or hold you down, being your absolute best self can all come. I know. I'm the proof.

So Friday was my 2 year anniversary of being laid off. It was a very personal, sometimes painful journey but one I was bound and determined to not let get me down. I tried as best I could to continue with my life as much as it had been before but also really looked deep at the choices I was making and who I wanted to be and how I could alter my life to become that person. And I'm so happy to say, I'm getting there. I have a wonderful job that doesn't ask me to compromise myself and is a place I actually enjoy going to 5 days out of the week. I have a lovely home that I work hard to maintain. The fact that it is everything I could want at this moment in my life makes me so proud, every day. I'm becoming a better daughter, sister, friend and one day I will be an amazing wife and mother. I'm growing every day into a better home cook, a better blogger, an embracer of life, a more self-sufficient self and while I am pursuing new talents, I'm never forgetting the ones I already have. And I don't know if I could have consciously realized these things without losing the ground beneath my feet.
My rustic little individual pot pies
Getting back to food though, one talent I've had for quite a while is chicken pot pie. The flaky crust, the tender bites of chicken, the sweet and the savory of the sauce. The vegetables that say "hey, I'm healthy" and the amount of butter that says "but not that healthy." It's perfection, decadent and pure country comfort. It may be a meal best eaten when the air turns a bit crisp and cool, but just as acceptable when you need food that gives you a hug. And so on Friday, after a 1/2 day at work, a relaxing few hours at the park, and an invigorating spin class... I made chicken pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie
Pie Crust - I halved my recipe since I was making individual pies then used 1/4 c. whole wheat flour to add texture

1 large chicken breast- or leftover from a rotisserie chicken, hint hint
1 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic- minced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbl butter
2 tsp. flour
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. ground dried thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
2 tsp. fresh sage- chopped
3 Tbl bourbon
1/8 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbl minced parsley (fresh)

1. Preheat oven to 375. With paper towel remove extra moisture from chicken. Season with salt and pepper and rub olive oil (I seasoned this with a little thyme, rosemary and sage) both over and under the skin. Roast for 50 minutes.

2. In a pan over the stove top heat oil, then add garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Saute until tender then add herbs. When chicken is done and rested for 10 minutes, chop- discarding skin- and add. Saute for 5 minutes longer, then add Bourbon to deglaze. Once bourbon has mostly cooked off, add the butter and flour and stir to mix well and cook through, about 5 more minutes.

3. Add the stock and cream. Let it cook down till it has almost a gravy consistency. Meanwhile, roll out dough and use 1/2 to line the bottom of the pie dish. Pierce all over with a fork and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and add the chicken mixture. Roll out and top with the remaining dough- also piercing with a fork. Put back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until top is browned and mixture inside is bubbling.

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