If you work, as I do (even though I work from home), often times it is hard to get dinner ready by a reasonable time. With Valentine's Day on a weeknight this year, if you plan to spend the evening at home, you may be left wondering what to do about dinner. My recipe for Chicken Pot Pies is a perfect solution. The thing I love about this recipe is that you can customize it to your tastes, bake the pies in individual ramekins for more eye-appeal, and prepare them as far in advance as you'd like.
So, if you're planning to have these for dinner one night, but know you won't have the prep time, prepare them in advance and bake them when you want them. I like to make a lot of these, put them in foil casserole dishes, cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze them. Just write the name of the dish, the date it went in the pan and the cooking instructions on the foil.
Chicken Pot Pies
extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. flour
2 large chicken breasts, diced 1 can (2 cups) chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thick 1 c. milk
1 celery stalk, diced small 4 potatoes, diced and boiled 15 minutes or until tender
1/2 onion, diced 1 c. peas
3 Tbsp. butter 1 recipe Cream Cheese Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a very large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chicken; sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Add carrots, celery and onion to the pan and saute until tender (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer chicken/veggie mixture to a bowl.
Return pan to heat and add butter; melt. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour mixture is bubbly and golden (1 minute). Gradually whisk in chicken stock and milk. Bring to a soft boil; cook until thick. Return chicken/veggie mixture to the pan. Add potatoes and peas; salt and pepper to taste.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish or individual ramekins. Top with cream cheese crust. Cut slits in the crust to vent steam and brush with egg wash (1 egg & 1/2 tsp. water whisked together). Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until crust in golden brown.
Note: To bake frozen pies, remove foil and plastic wrap and bake 15-25 minutes longer (1- 1 1/2 hours).