Top three comfort foods (in no particular order of preference): meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and chicken pot pie. All three are easy to make and stick-to-your ribs. I find the chicken pot pie a fantastic dish to throw together, even if I don’t have all the ingredients. You can easily substitute different veggies or even leave out the chicken. No one is going to complain as long as you have a thick-stew underneath a flakey crust. Add a salad and dinner is served!
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium onion – cut in large chunks
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 3/4 cup cooked chicken
- 1 cup carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2/3 cup celery cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, whisk-in flour and stir till a thick paste. Wisk-in chicken broth till thickened (add additional flour or cornstarch if it is still too thin). Add onion, garlic, chicken, carrots and celery and let simmer for 15 minutes till carrots are starting to get tender. Add peas and season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Simmer for 10 more minutes and adjust seasoning as needed. Pour in a casserole pan and top with the crust (see below). Slit crust to help release steam. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes till crust is golden. You might want to place the casserole dish on a baking sheet to avoid bubbling-over in the oven.
Cream cheese crust (Anne Burrell’s recipe from Food Network – but any crust either homemade or store bought will work)
- 1 stick butter, cut into pea-size pieces
- 1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, cream cheese, flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the ingredients start to come together and resembles Parmesan. Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse a couple of more times until the ingredients start to form a ball. If the mixture is exceedingly wet, add some more flour. Or conversely, if the mix is dry, dry, dry, add in a few more drops of water.
When the mixture has come together into a ball, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead it a couple of times to help it come together. Dust it with flour, form it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done a day ahead.
Cook’s Note: When ready to use the dough, remove it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before rolling, to allow it to warm up and soften.