Cosmo wanted chicken pot pies. “Mom, some people make them so that each person has their OWN.” Ok, kid. I can take a hint. So, I made sure I had the ingredients and decided that a puff pastry top would be fun! This recipe would actually be amazing vegetarian. Follow the recipe and skip the chicken. If you decide to do chicken, or any meat for that matter, try to buy responsibly sourced. I know that’s a buzz word that’s been flying around for the last few years, but it really is more than that. It’s a way of eating that we need to wrap our heads around. Because “know better, do better”, right? Right.
So… Let’s talk about meat. I’ve been struggling with meat for about a year now. I feel an immense sense of guilt about the environmental impacts as well as the treatment of the animals that we are consuming at an alarming rate. Yet, I don’t feel compelled to become vegetarian or vegan. I think I may finally have my balanced answer. Please note that while I believe this is a positive change in my life and that of my family, I’m not trying to force myself on you. These are my opinions and what I believe is part of the reason you follow my blog 🙂
We have choices. We do not have to eat factory farmed meat. There is good meat out there. Just about every grocery store has “free range” and “grass fed” options. Stores like Whole Foods, for example, have clearly marked step ratings on all of their meat products. You may say “Whole Foods is whole paycheck and I can’t afford that meat!” Well, the meat isn’t really that different in price. The chicken I buy is step 3 (out of 5 which is FAR better than factory farmed meat which doesn’t even make the step rating of 1) and is four bucks a pound. I regularly use one pound of meat to serve my family of four with left overs. When my boys get older, I may have to up that, but for now one pound is more than sufficient. If four bucks a pound is more than your budget allows, I would suggest eating meat less frequently. There are plenty of meatless you meals that we find completely satisfying around here. My “Whole Garden” spaghetti (recipe coming soon!) was killer the other night and not a single person complained that there wasn’t any meat. Beans are a fantastic and cheap source of protein and can be made on their own or supplemented in a wide variety of ways. The most important thing we need to do is get back into the kitchen and MAKE REAL FOOD. My good friend Mr Brooking recently told me this “If it has a list of ingredients, I don’t eat it.” That’s good advice! I confess that I am not there yet, but each day I become more conscious of the ease at which I can bring whole foods to my table. I am seeing through the veil that savvy marketing companies are paid millions to pull over our eyes. We DO have time. We DON’T need that pre made box of dinner. We CAN go back to the way food was intended to be prepared. We DO have a choice. Ok, so I’ll get over myself and end my rant, but this is real talk. We are killing ourselves and our environment and corporations are spending billions to make sure that we don’t stop the cycle.
Now I’d like to share this amazing recipe… hopefully one or two of you actually stayed with me through my meat diatribe to read it! 🙂
You will need the following:
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (two large breasts)
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk or broth (milk will be creamier but broth will work great too)
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and saute the shallot and garlic. As soon as you start to smell them, add the carrots. Once the carrots begin to soften but are still hard in the center, add chicken, peas and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add a few Tbsp olive oil. Heat over medium and sprinkle with the flour to make a roux. Brown it slightly and add milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the chicken veggie mixture back into the skillet and combine with the “gravy”.
- Once fully incorporated, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Open your sheet of puff pastry and roll it out slightly larger than standard. Just enough to cover the tops of each ramekin. Using the overturned ramekin as your guide, cut the pastry about a quarter inch wider than the mouth of the vessel.
- spoon into ramekins. My ramekins are about 1.5 cups and this filled four completely to the brim.
- Beat up one egg and brush it around the surface of the ramekin edges. Place the pastry rounds on top gently pressing the pastry to the lip of the ramekin. This step will “glue” the pastry in place. Finish off by brushing the tops with the remaining egg wash. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake 35-40 minutes. Watch the tops, if they start to get too brown loosely cover with foil. I covered mine for the last ten minutes. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.
These can be made and refrigerated a day ahead if you like. The pastry top will puff up and show it’s flaky layers. The end result is imperfect and beautiful. Enjoy! Swearing Mom out.