Monday, February 18, 2013

The Promised Food Post...Sort Of.

As promised, I am posting about food, complete with pictures and a recipe at the bottom.'s not as exciting as I had hoped.

Let me explain.

I am on my second complete year in a public school. I have also been in and out of half a dozen Philly schools, Temple University, and one very memorable year at a pre-school. I'm no stranger to germs and bugs and colds and infections. In fact, my immune system is getting stronger and I haven't gotten a real flu in I-don't-know-how-long.

For all of this, every.single.time I have a long weekend, I get sick.

Most of the time it's just a cold, as it was this lovely four-day weekend. But that doesn't mean I'm not a baby about it, and that I sit around for two days drinking OJ and watching endless reruns of How I Met Your Mother.

It does, however, mean that I didn't do all of the fun cooking projects I intended to do this weekend.


Instead, I took a container of chicken pot pie filling from my freezer and turned it into soup, since I didn't have the ingredients or wherewithal to make myself a real pot of soup.

It was actually quite delicious.

My chicken pot pie recipe is adapted from *cringe* Family Favorites from the Homeschool Kitchen. This little gem of a cookbook was given to us as a wedding gift from a sweet family at Dan's old church. For all its cringe-inducing title and sappy blurbs about the value of homeschooling, I've found a couple of recipes that are really worthwhile.

Including the chicken pot pie.

It's a rich, creamy filling full of veggies and goodness and not a "cream-of" soup to be found. There are a couple steps involved, especially if you need to cook the chicken just for this meal, but it's totally worth it. This is one meal that has gotten the "better than my mom's" stamp of approval from my husband, and let me tell you, my MIL is a great cook.

To make this into soup, I just added a can of chicken broth and about a cup of water to HALF of the filling. (This recipe makes two 9-inch pies, so I usually freeze half for later use. The frozen half became my soup.) The soup was just brothy enough without losing that creamy texture, and none of the flavor was lost.

Here's the adapted recipe for the original chicken pot pie. Beware, this is comfort food. It'll do wonders for your soul, but little for your waistline.

Homeschool-Friendly Chicken Pot Pie

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots (or 5-6 baby carrots), chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 can chicken broth (about 2 cups)
1 3/4 cups milk
2 chicken breasts
2-3 small potatoes (or 1 large), chopped into bite-size pieces
peas, green beans, broccoli, or any other veggies you have on hand, totaling about 1 cup
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
2 pie crusts (9-inch)

If the chicken is not pre-cooked, poach in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Let cool, and shred or chop into bite-sized pieces. If you're daring like me, boil the potatoes right in with the chicken. If you're worried about bacteria, do it in a separate pot. The potatoes should be just barely fork-tender, as they'll continue cooking in the pie.

In a large skillet, saute the onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil. Remove, and melt butter in the same skillet. Add the flour and whisk together (we're making a roux). It'll be thick, but mix thoroughly and let cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the milk and broth. Continue whisking and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken, potatoes, veggies, thyme, salt and pepper.

If serving more than 3-4 people, put the whole thing into a 9x13 dish and cover with both pie crusts. If serving only 3-4 people, pour half of the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and the other half a in freezer-safe container. Cover the pie dish with the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the mixture is bubbly.

This also makes great leftovers, and as discovered this weekend, translates easily into pot pie soup! Enjoy!