Not all foods that bring me back to my childhood were homemade, or even from my ethnic background. Certain ones, which could be considered my mom’s “cheater” meals, hold memories that are just as fond. Occasionally, there were nights that didn’t consist of a home cooked meal. She was a busy stay-at-home mom to 3 kids and also helped run my dad’s business (before going back to school and finishing up college to earn her degree in education). So on those rare evenings, the oh-so-popular TV dinner would sometimes make its way onto the table.
There were the TV dinners that had different sections…you know…the meat, the vegetable, the other vegetable and the fruit (or sometimes, dessert). They were always a treat.
And then, there was the chicken pot pie. An individual serving with a golden crust and who knows what underneath it 🙂 But we loved them!
I’m the first person to admit that convenience is a necessity at times…matter of fact, it’s about to become even more important for me (more on that in a later post). But I’m not interested in the TV dinner. I’d rather find a quick and easy way to recreate it and make it taste even better, as well as have it be healthier.
Pot pie is a cinch to make and can be on the table in under an hour. You could even prep most of it the day before. And yes, it can be made without that sodium-filled cream of chicken/mushroom/whatever else soup.
Making your own biscuits is great, but don’t be afraid to take the easy way out and use ready-made, you know, for convenience sake 🙂
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from My Pantry Shelf
For the chicken:
3 large boneless chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
For the filling:
4 tablespoons butter
4 red potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup frozen green beans
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 cup fat free half & half
salt and pepper to taste
For the topping:
1 tube refrigerated biscuits (or homemade)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring broth and bay leaf to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chicken and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and set aside (shred when cooled). Reserve liquid.
While chicken is cooking, put butter in a large pot and melt. Add chopped onion, carrots, potatoes, garlic and mushrooms. Stir together and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes soften.
Add flour, chicken broth, chicken, thyme, green beans, pearl onion, and half & half. Stir and simmer until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. (The stew can be made a day in advance…just cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat prior to topping with biscuits.)
Place mixture in casserole dish or individual ramekins. Arrange uncooked biscuits on top of stew. Bake uncovered until biscuits are brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.