Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Club Pie!!

After I decided not to subject my poor book clubbers to an experimental meatloaf, I found myself trying to figure out what I could cook them. I needed to make something large enough to feed a big group, but I didn’t want to make pasta. I also didn’t want dinner to take forever to make. So what on earth could I make, besides a meatloaf that meets all the criteria? While reading through Real Simple, I found a recipe for mushroom pot pie. I decided that sounded somewhat easy and I could triple(ish) the recipe which made enough to feed four people. I had never made a homemade pot pie in my life. Josh and I always eat the ones from the frozen foods section but not often because they are TERRIBLE for you! But I’m certainly not one to back down from a challenge, so chicken and mushroom pot pie it was!

I’m going to call this recipe my own because I changed the recipe all around to be the taste I want, as I often do with recipes. It’s more about getting an idea and then making it my own. So this recipe called for frozen peas, which absolutely makes my skin crawl. I replaced that ingredient with frozen okra. It didn’t call for chicken, but I as much as I love veggies, I didn’t see veggie pot pie really doing it for me or my girls! I also thought the amount of other veggies would end up being too much so I cut some of them down. At the end I had a hybrid between Real Simple and Marie Calendar’s!

Here’s the breakdown:

2.5 pounds mushrooms
*I used baby bellas and white stuffing
1 rotisserie chicken, chopped into ¼” pieces
*Pick this up at your grocery already cooked, trust me!
8 carrots, cut in ¼” pieces
7 celery stalks, sliced in ¼” pieces
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 lb frozen okra
1.5 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 sheets puff pastry
3 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp olive oil

Chicken & Veggie Mix
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook covered, stirring occasionally until the veggies are tender. About 20 minutes.  Add the okra and chicken. Cook just for a few minutes until heated. Add flour and cook, stirring until well mixed. You don’t want to see pieces of flour! Add the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring. You may not need all 3 cups, but you want the texture to be like thin gravy (not soup broth). You cannot add more flour if you add too much broth, so go slowly. Bring to a boil. Once everything is hot pour the mixture into 1-9x13” and 1-8x8” baking dish. One puff pastry covers more than the 8x8” pan. Cut off the edges to put on the other dish as 1 pastry won’t cover a 9x13”. Then cover the other using the other puff pastry and the remains of the first one. Bake both for approximately 30 minutes, but make sure the pastry is brown before you take them out. It may take 40 minutes. Let the pot pies rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Finished Product!

It was a rainy cold mess last night, so the weather was perfect for comfort food! Dinner was a big hit. The girls liked it and so did I! It was also perfect for a group and you could even take the leftover of your big bird next week and it would be an equally good way to get rid of all that extra turkey you know you’re going to have!


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