Monday, November 2, 2015

Mini Pot Pies And A Happy Daughter

I didn't grow up eating pot pies.  I actually remember the exact moment when I tried one for the first time while having dinner at a friend's house, I was probably my daughter's age.  I don't even remember the girl's name.  I just remember two things about that playdate- 1) she had property with horses and 2) I left asking my mom to buy pot pies for our house (spoiler: she didn't.  We pretty much only ate homemade food when I was a kid...).

Unlike me, my daughter is something of a pot pie connoisseur.  She LOVES them.

Not just any pot pie, though.  She refuses to eat a pot pie that has potato chunks in the filling...which eliminates  almost every single variety of frozen pot pie.  Forget any cheap little pot pies for that kid- it's Marie Callender's all the way.  Unless I make it from scratch, of course.

That kid LOVES homemade pot pie.

I really like having it on hand to serve her a quick meal and it's way more convenient to freeze a bunch of small pies for her that I can throw in the oven at the last minute rather than dealing with full size pies.  Not to mention the cute factor!  :-)

I just let them cool, toss them in a freezer bag, and then they're always ready when I need to pull together a quick meal for her.  

A quick defrost in the microwave followed by 20 minutes in the oven at 350 and she's one happy kid!

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 C sliced carrots
1 C frozen green peas
1/2 C sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 C chopped onion
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 3/4 C chicken broth
2/3 C milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Working in batches, roll out 3/4 of the pie crust to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into 24 4" circles (I used a small Pyrex bowl).  Gently press each circle into muffin tins.

5. Mix together chicken mixture and hot liquid.  Distribute filling evenly between empty pie shells.  Roll out remaining pie crust to 1/4" thickness and cut into 1/2" strips.  Use strips to cover each pie with lattice crust.  Seal edges.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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