It’s March, and for every college student that means its time for spring break. This week I will be spending my last spring break ever in the snowy and cold state of Iowa. Party on.
Besides the weather, it’s not all bad because I get to spend time with my family and of course, bake and cook for them. I love going home and cooking for other people because I try things that I wouldn’t normally cook for myself. Take this pot pie for example. When I think of pot pies, I think of the pre-made, frozen pot pies that my family used to have for dinner when I was younger. Between the mushy vegetables and the inevitable burnt tongue, this was never my favorite dinner. Since I am back home with my family this week, I set out on a pot pie mission to hopefully change my bias against this classic comfort dish meal.
While clicking through recipes for ideas, I stumbled upon a foodnetwork.com article which took all of the comfort food classics and lightened them up. Comforting AND healthy….perfect! While I changed some of the vegetables used to make the dish seem a little less winter and a little more spring (because it reached a balmy 45 degrees today which is close enough to spring for me), I pretty much stuck to the rest of the recipe. The end result was so tasty! The biscuit topping was the highlight of the dish and I would recommend baking the pot pies in individual ramekins to make sure everyone gets their share of the topping.
Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from foodnetwork
For the filling:
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 tsp olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 package (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 package frozen corn, thawed
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp canola oil
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
To make the filling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 6 ramekins or shallow casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and asparagus and saute for 5 minutes. It will look like this:
Add the remaining salt and pepper along with the milk and flour. Stir until the flour is completely combined in the mixture, then add the chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. After the mixture has been boiling for 2 minutes, add the chicken, corn, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the mixture into either 6 individual baking dishes or one shallow casserole dish.
To make the biscuit crust:
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and with an electric mixer or food processor, mix until pebble sized pieces are formed. Add the buttermilk, then the oil and mix until just moistened. Drop spoonfuls and spread the batter over the chicken mixture.
Bake in the pre-heated oven 20 minutes, or until the biscuit topping is golden brown.