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October 11, 2017

Pretty Chicken Pot Pie | Easy Weeknight Dinner

The biggest change at home we've experienced since Emma has started Kindergarten is that she was so exhausted when she got home that she wasn't interested in helping with dinner.  For the first couple of weeks, I was okay with it - she needed quiet downtime just playing (or watching a show...).  However, our time in the kitchen together is my favorite time, so I've been thinking of more ways to get her excited about cooking again.

I know when you are 5 that new friends, learning to read, soccer, ballet, etc. all of a sudden seems much cooler and more important than helping your Mom, but I wanted to be careful that we didn't lose this special time we spend together.  So, we've been doing more fun things in the kitchen like adding mini leaf cut-outs (using the new Mini Leaf Cutters, $8 for 6 in my store) to our Chicken Pie Pies, and we've also been working on decorating cakes.  These activities have lit a new fire for her and she is eager to join me in the kitchen again.

This is my basic Chicken Pot Pie recipe, only dressed up with some cut outs on the top : ). For some shortcuts, buy a rotisserie chicken, use frozen carrots and store bought pie dough - I do these all of the time and it is just as delicious.   Our entire family loves this dinner.  I make a double batch and one goes in the freezer for an easy dinner after soccer : )

The Mini Leaf Cutters are new to my Harvest Collection and will make so many things cute this fall : )

Chicken Pot Pie
(makes 1 pie, I usually double the recipe)

2 chicken breasts, split with bone and skin on
4 carrots, 1-inch dice
8 small red potatoes, 1-inch dice
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
4 tbs of butter
4 tbs of flour
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of half-and-half
1 cup of frozen peas
Pie Crust Ingredients needed (for making 2 tops) : 
18 tablespoons cold butter (2 sticks + 2 tablespoons)
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons sugar 
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

I made the filling, while Emma worked on the pie crust.

For the filling :

Step 1 : Roast the Chicken & Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Start by placing the chicken breasts on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then salt & pepper.  On another sheet pan, place the carrots and potatoes and also drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss to coat.  Roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  The cooking time may vary depending on thickness of the chicken breast.

*Baking Sheets : You can find my favorite Baking Sheets in regular and small sizes here.  They work great paired with parchment paper - saves food from sticking and makes clean up so easy.

Step 2 : Make the Cream Sauce

In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-low heat stir in flour, whisking until smooth.  Let the flour and butter cook for about 1 minute.  Whisk in chicken stock and continue to whisk over low heat until smooth.

Add in the half-and-half.  Whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until thick and bubbly - whisk constantly, or at lease every minute to keep it from burning on the bottom.  When it is thick, turn off the heat.

Step 3 : Combine

When the vegetables and chicken have finished roasting, let them cool for 3-5 minutes.  Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and chop it up into 1-inch cubes.  Add the chicken, carrots and potatoes into the cream sauce.  Add the peas.  Pour the mixture into a pie plate or other oven proof dish.

The pie crust is made in the food processor and comes together so quickly.  Pie Crust Recipe, here >

Store Bought Dough works really great, too, especially or the cutouts.  It seems to be more sturdy.

Roll the cut out dough onto a rolling pin, being careful not letting it stretch too much and lose its shape.


Brush them with beaten egg to give them a really pretty shine, then bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until golden and bubbly.


Here are other ways I've used the Mini Leaf Cutters :

Pecan Tart with Maple Leaf border >

I have so many ideas for these : ). Hope this makes it on your list for the week!

 Mini Leaf Cutters, $8

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