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Wednesday, September 22

Uh Oh...I Gots In Twouble!!

Yup, folks...I gots myself in a heap o' trouble.  Big time.  As in "all this time you've been doing a blog and not one peep about..." trouble.  Time to make amends.  I've told you about my roomie, Traci.  She's like a sister to me!!  Well, one of her favorite things on earth is homemade Chicken Pot Pie, and I try to make that for her fairly often.  I knew she periodically reads my blog, but she's been pretty mum on what she'd like to see covered.  Well, until last night, that is...haha!  So here's to you, Traci...I love you!!

Chicken pot pie is one of the all time comfort foods.  It's reminiscent of Sunday afternoon dinners with family.  Surprisingly, it's relatively easy to make, too.  You only need one medium saucepot and a 9 inch pie plate, so cleanup is a cinch.  It's also very forgiving, because you can put almost anything in it and have it still come out scrumptious!!  All year around, it's a simple way to tell your family how much you love them. 

Now, I will freely admit...I cheat.  I use store-bought frozen pie crusts to make this dish, which is why it's so simple.  You can easily make your own crust if you prefer, and I'm going to include a recipe for that as well.  But, using the frozen gives you a total time in the kitchen, including bake time, of 1 hour MAX.  Usually, it's less than that!!

CHICKEN POT PIE

1 pkg frozen pie crusts (2 in the pkg), thawed
1/4 c all purpose flour
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 c frozen green peas
1/4 c all purpose flour
1 c chicken broth
1 c half-n-half (milk can be used instead, but not as creamy tasting)
2 cans chunk white chicken (same size as the tuna in your local grocery)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9 inch pie plate with one thawed crust, and score with a fork...set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Saute ALL veggies until just tender.  Add flour, and mix thoroughly until it's got the consistency of a light paste.  Slowly add chicken broth and half-n-half/milk, stirring constantly, until completely blended.  Continue cooking over med heat until mixture thickens and is bubbly.  Add chicken, and season to taste. 

Pour into prepared crust (you will probably have extra, but it's great for just eating as is), and top with second crust, tucking edges in and sealing shut.  Cut 4-5 slits in top crust to allow venting of steam, and bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.  For safety and ease of cleanup, bake on top of a cookie sheet to catch any spills.

That's all there is to it.  Simple, but absolutely heavenly taste!!

Now, for those who would prefer to go ALL out and make their own crust, here's my favorite crust recipe...

SIMPLE PIE CRUST

2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 c shortening, chilled well
6 tbsp ICE water

Whisk flour and salt together, blending thoroughly.  Using a pastry blender, cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal...this can take up to 10 minutes. Add ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it just starts to come together.  Once it is together, divide in half, and wrap each part in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour, until firm.  Roll out to desired size. Makes 2 crusts.

One last caveat...you CAN make one of these pies ahead of time and freeze, then pop into the oven when you need it.  Just make sure it's thoroughly cooled before putting in the freezer, and thaw in the fridge completely before baking.  Increase bake time to 40-45 minutes to compensate for the cool ingredients.

Ok, Miss Traci...I been a good girl now.  Forgiven???

ENJOY!!!