Monday, November 3, 2008
Roasted Vegetable Chicken Pot Pie
In my book, there are a number of things that conjure up the warmest of feelings -- a roasted chicken, a baked winter squash, a warm bowl of soup, and a pot-pie.
I have childhood memories of pot-pies. But, these pot-pies weren't homemade. They were the Banquet pot-pies that you find in your grocer's freezer case. And we were only allowed to have them on special occasions. Namely when Dad went out of town and Mom didn't feel like cooking. On those special nights, we'd find ourselves snuggled on the couch with a rented movie and pot-pie -- hot from the oven, and flipped out (upsidedown) into a soup bowl. I liked to eat the filling first, saving the crisp, buttery top crust for last.
Oh, yeah. I have great memories of those trans-fat-filled treats. But, these days, I think I can do them one better. By making my own.
This weekend's pot-pie making affair started with a load of chopped vegetables -- some carrots, a few tender white turnips, a butternut squash, and a few freshly dug Yukon Gold potatoes. You can see that our grown-up version already beats out those Banquet pot-pie imposters -- and we haven't even gotten past the first step!
But, don't think that I'm entirely virtuous. These vegetables went into the oven to roast with a splash of bacon fat (oh, yeah! that's for flavor, babe) and a bit of dried thyme.
Meanwhile I chopped up some previously roasted chicken and put together a nice sauce. Some sauteed onions, a nice roux, and some flavorful chicken broth. When the vegetables came out of the oven, we put the whole shebang together.
The next step is to stir everything together. And this is no small feat... after all, the smell is already too intoxicating to resist.
Once everything is adequately combined, I haul out my trusty 10-inch cast-iron pan. This is one tool with which an ordinary pie plate can't even begin to compete.
I roll out my first round of pie crust, and lay it down into the pan, tucking it nicely around. I might be tempted to stop to admire my work... but the smell of that pot-pie filling is making me hungry. So, I pour it in on top of the crust.
I roll out a second crust, place it over the top, crimp the edges, and give the pie a few slash marks in the top for good measure. After about 40 minutes in the oven, the pie is nicely browned and ... almost... ready to eat.
After waiting patiently for 10-15 minutes while the filling sets up, I allow myself the indulgence of cutting the first slice. And then another for Peef. We sat down with our pot-pies and watched a movie. Just like old times. Well... almost.
Roasted Vegetable Chicken Pot Pies
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