Bob has always had a weakness for Chicken Pot Pies. In college, he practically lived on 'em because, besides being satisfying, frozen ones were cheap (would you believe 5 for $1?!) and easy to fix.
So, you know I scored points recently by baking them from scratch using this taste-tempting recipe from the TLC Kitchen cookbook (Parragon Books, October 2013, $19.99). And it wasn't hard to do! You just need some time (it took me about 2 and 1/2 hours total), an affection for veggies (mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery and peas), and a willingness to cut corners (be sure to reach for the ready-made crust).
To make things even simpler, I shortened the prep by using 8 ounces pre-sliced fresh mushrooms and about 20 baby carrots (no peeling needed!) instead of the quantities shown below. I also skipped brushing the crust with egg because I didn't have one and thought "Why go back to the store?"
You'll need two large saucepans - one for simmering veggies; another for cooking the filling - and six ramekins to complete these cute, one-crust creations. Make that eight if your ramekins are smaller like mine.
Just remember, some of the savory filling may bubble over the sides during baking. So clean up is easier if you place the pies on a pan covered with foil or parchment paper.
About 40 minutes later, get ready for a comfort-food treat. These single-serving, family pleasers bake up so pretty I wished I'd invited company for dinner. And both Bob and I adored the umm-umm-good, homemade taste so much we may never go back to frozen!
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes until golden.
Add the carrots, celery and half the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Beat in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 4 minutes. Gradually beat in the remaining stock, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until thick. Stir in the vegetable mixture and add the chicken, peas and thyme.
Simmer, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper, if needed. Divide the mixture between 6 large ramekins.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out 6 circles, each 1 inch larger than the diameter of the ramekins. Place the dough circles on top of the filling, then crimp the edges. Cut a small cross in the center of each circle.
Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown and bubbling.
Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Publisher: Parragon Books
Penned: Oct. 23, 2013
What's Inside: 150 delicious, easy-to-make recipes from a variety of chefs, including ideas from stars of TLC's most popular series. You'll find Randy Fenoli's Cranberry-Orange Scones (Say Yes to the Dress), BBQ Chicken and Rice a la Mama June (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), Cake Boss Buddy Valastro's Chocolate Cake and much more. Designed for today's families, this great-taste-even-when-you-have-no-time collection highlights slow-cooker favorites, meals in minutes, classic pasta delights and other dishes great for anyone with a hectic schedule.
Time Out: 256 pages
Available: $19.95 at Amazon and most book retailers
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