Haven’t been down to the doublewide in a while. With cool weather is settling in, there’ll be some hearty comfort foods cooking there for sure!
Pot pie is a fall and winter favorite. Pot pie can be be made from just about anything in the fridge, freezer or pantry. My mother never put vegetables in her chicken pot pie. Her’s was all chicken and a creamy white with biscuits baked on top of the filling. Forgive me, Mom, but I like vegetables in mine. I find that you can get a great surprise by experimenting with different veggies in the mix and even with different toppings. For instance, spinach and butternut squash topped with puff pastry!
I have a couple of old cast iron skillets. One is my sacred corn bread pan that once belonged to my step-grandmother. It has always been used only for cornbread and woe be to anyone who even thinks of using it for anything else! The other one is for experimenting and trying out new recipes. Both are so well seasoned that they are slicker than Teflon!
I cooked the filling in my cast iron skillet. It started with chopped onion followed by garlic in a little olive oil right on the stovetop. When they were ready, I added about a teaspoon of ground sage and let it bloom for a moment. Next, I added roughly chopped spinach and wilted it on the onions – three big handsful before chopping. Next, I sprinkled on a generous quarter cup of all purpose unbleached flour and stirred and cooked it for four or five minutes to make a roux with the savory vegetables. Then, I stirred in two and a half cups of chicken stock made when I cooked chicken thighs for the pie. When the roux and stock were blended, I added half a small butternut squash, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice – roughly a heaping cup and a half. The stock thickened as the squash simmered, covered, and softened in about 15 minutes. I stirred in the chopped meat from two chicken thighs and topped the skillet with a sheet of puff pastry. The pastry got a rough trim hanging over the edge of the skillet. After poking a trio of steam vents into the pastry, the pie went into a 425 degree oven for 12 minutes until the crust began to brown. I reduced the temp to 375 and let the crust finish rising and baking for another 12 or so minutes to a golden brown crispy, flaky delight. I let is rest for about 10 minutes and dished up a plate of savory goodness with a hint of sweet from the squash. There were no leftovers.
I can’t wait to make it again with a regular pie dough topping!