There are a handful of recipes that will, from now on, always take me back to when my son was born and my mother flew in, armed with comfort-food recipes and 3 a.m. encouragement, to help me through the haze that is new motherhood.
You hear a lot about sleep deprivation, and shock, and pajama bottoms, but what they don’t tell you about parenting a newborn is that, despite holding two college degrees and knowing how to stitch a French knot, you’ll forget how to do everyday tasks – like operate your can opener.
That’s right — I was stymied by a common kitchen appliance.
My mother handed it to me — a simple, $10 handheld tool designed to cut the outer edge of a can’s lid off, creating a smooth edge — and it was as if I had never laid eyes on it. Did you turn it? Jiggle it? Maneuver it upside down? Why did we ever buy such a stupid, stupid thing?
So I – we – laughed. And laughed. And eventually solved the mystery and opened the can of chicken broth and made an easy, hearty chicken pot pie that remains one of my husband’s favorites today. And each time I make it, I hear that laughter. But I use chicken broth from a carton, just in case.
Sharon’s Chicken Pot Pie
1 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
1 c. or more sliced carrots
1 c. cooked peas
½ c. chopped celery
3 small peeled and cubed potatoes
⅓ c. butter
⅓ c. minced onion
⅓ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. celery seed
⅛ tsp. garlic powder
1¾ c. chicken broth
¾ c. milk
1 box refrigerated piecrusts (2 crusts total)
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a deep-dish pie pan or an 8” square glass pan with cooking spray; set aside. Let piecrusts come to room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil chicken and vegetables in large pot for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender; drain and set aside. Melt butter in medium saucepan; sauté onions until tender. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in broth and milk, stirring constantly. Continue stirring over medium heat until sauce is thickened. Combine sauce and chicken/veggies, stirring to coat. Unroll one piecrust and press into bottom and sides of prepared pan, making sure the crust rises up and slightly over the pan’s edges. Add filling. Unroll second piecrust and place on top of pie, joining crusts together at the edge to seal. Use a sharp knife to cut several slits in the top, then place on a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.