My husband Ed and I are moving in less than a month, so lately I’ve been challenging myself to cook dinners from only what we have in the fridge/freezer/pantry, rather than going to the store to get new ingredients. Ok, so there might be a little laziness involved too, but it’s a fun challenge to make tasty food out of what we already have.
Tonight I decided to finally put to use the AWESOME Breville Pie Maker some dear friends gave to us as a wedding gift. Somewhat on the fly, I whipped up the filling, then broke out some puff pastry and pie maker and went to town. I may have overfilled the pies as I ended up with a bit of a mess, but honestly, they were still beautiful and quite tasty! I only made two pies tonight, but there was plenty of filling left for another four pies for dinner this week.
Don’t hesitate to experiment with this recipe, using different spices, filling ingredients, etc. What’s below is just what we had on hand. Onions, celery, and other veggies would have been great, too. The measurements are my best guess, so don’t feel too compelled to follow them precisely (except for the ratio of butter-flour-liquid).
Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pies
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup margarine (or butter)
1/3 cup flour
salt, to taste (about 1/2-1 teaspoon, depending on how salty your broth is)
pepper, to taste (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
thyme, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2/3 cup soymilk (or regular milk)
Pepperidge Farms puff pastry (1 sheet makes 2 pies; recipe will make about 6 pies worth of filling)
- About 40 minutes before you’re ready to make the pies, pull the puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost.
- Cut potatoes into small cubes. Put in salted water and bring to a boil. Boil till tender, 15-20 minutes, then drain.
- Cut chicken breast into cubes. Cut carrots into rounds. Put chicken and carrots in chicken broth with pepper, thyme, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- In a skillet, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. When it’s entirely melted, add the flour and stir constantly for a few minutes. Then add the milk; continue stirring constantly – a whisk might be helpful. Pour in the chicken broth mixture and mix thoroughly. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens.
- Add the chicken mixture to the potatoes and stir. Add the frozen peas and continue to stir until heated through and distributed throughout.
- Heat up your pie maker by plugging it in. (It’s kind of like a waffle iron, with pie-shaped indentations.) Cut pie bottoms and lids out of puff pastry, using the molds that came with the pie maker. Place the larger piece in the bottom of the pie maker and press down with the tool that came with the pie maker to make an indentation. Put filling in pie – filling should be slightly below the crust level. Put the pastry lids on top of the filling and close the pie maker, making sure to latch it. Cook for 8 minutes, and you’re done! Easy as… PIE!! Hah.