Monthly Mingle: How crayons started dinner

Yes, I said crayons. No, we didn't eat them. (What were you thinking?!?) But they were responsible for the start of this dinner.

We had this for dinner last night, and I enjoyed every bite of it. And the idea of it started last week at work, where I was coloring. You know, crayons and paper, coloring. In this case, I was coloring with a couple of little girls, R and V. I was coloring a picture of spaghetti and meatballs.

I don't know why, but we started talking about food and dinner. Maybe it was my picture. I can't remember, but we were talking about foods we liked and dinner, when R said she loved chicken pot pie. I agreed, but said I couldn't make that for dinner because my boys were fussy. She crinkled her little nose and said, "Fussy! Why are they fussy?"

And with that, she challenged an assumption I had been making. I had never made chicken pot pie for my family. I had bought a few frozen ones before, mostly for me, because I like them, but had just been assuming that my boys would not like it. "But why won't they like it?" I thought to myself. It's chicken, which both my children like, my choice of vegetables (and I wasn't going to pick veggies that they don't like!), pie crust of some kind and a bit of a cream sauce. Why wouldn't they like that? Sure, my husband isn't fond of chicken, it usually isn't his first choice, but then he is more likely to order it out than I am, and he tolerates it. He's also been very good at trying everything lately, so I thought, "Why not?"

See? Crayons = dinner. Easy, right?

This chicken pot pie did not involve pie dough, but did involve puff pastry. Which reminds me to never buy this type of puff pastry again - you'd think that a local bakery that makes their own puff pastry on site from scratch would make a butter one, but noooooooo, this one didn't. Never again. It tasted okay, but I know what good, homemade, from scratch, butter puff pastry tastes like, and am fussy myself about a few things. This is one of them.

Under the puff pastry top, a creamy mixture of chicken, onions, carrots, green beans, red and yellow peppers, and mushrooms bubbled and steamed. This was one of those meals that takes longer to assemble than anything else. Chop this, dice that, stir this, season that. I was hungry when I started and even hungrier when I was finally able to pull it out of the oven.

So the verdict on fussy? I think we had a split vote actually. On the like it side was myself, obviously, and my little five year old foodie, who was inhaling his as fast as the heat would allow, when he suddenly caught his brother's "I don't like this" attitude and stopped eating it. He got more than 3/4 of the way through it first though. My husband was iffy on it. Didn't dislike it alot, ate it, and took the extra I made for his lunch in with him today. My oldest was the hold out. He crinkled his nose at it, and eventually ate everything but the puff pastry and the mushrooms. Mostly because he wanted dessert.

I could probably make it again for dinner and people would eat it, but it wouldn't be something they would request.

I'm submitting this pie for Meeta's Monthly Mingle for March, One-Dish Dinners. Sure I made mine in individual containers, but it could easily have been done as a single, large pie. Which is how I was planning on making it initially but, you know, mini is funner in cooking!

Chicken Pot Pie

1 package frozen puff pastry (1 lb), defrosted
3 chicken breasts, diced and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 each, red and yellow peppers, finely diced
handful green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces
8 mushrooms, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.
Heat large pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown chicken. If necessary, brown in batches. Set aside. Add remaining oil into pot and saute the onions and carrots for a few minutes, before adding in the mushrooms, peppers and garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir and saute for 3-4 more minutes before adding in the green beans. Saute an additional 2 minutes before adding the butter. When the butter is melted, add in the flour and stir carefully. Cook for 3 minutes before gradually adding in the milk, stirring continually. Add in the nutmeg. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, thickening. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Spoon mixture in good sized casserole dish, or individual sized dishes (I had 5.) Cut puff pastry to fit inside the dish or dishes. Lay the pastry over top and place dish on a baking sheet before placing in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed, golden, and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Allow to cool some before eating. Unless you like having a burnt tongue.


Gretchen Noelle said...

I was never a fan of chicken pot pie. It was always out of a box, and ate on top of a TV tray when my mom wen to class. I wonder if I made it myself, with veggies I like...maybe I would like it more.

Judy said...

A good chicken pot pie is hard to beat. I haven't made one in years, but when I did I used frozen pie shells, one on top and one on the bottom. Needless to say, not very healthy, but damn tasty! This one looks so inviting, I just may have to break my dry spell to make it!

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

I posted a pot pie this week too! I keep searching, but can't find that to-die-for pot pie recipe. Puff pastry sounds good though....

Anonymous said...

Love chicken pot pie. What is it with the men of this family? Looks great Jenny.

Meeta K said...

A chicken pot pie - now that is something I have not made in a while. Just perfect!

Cheryl said...

I was a very fussy child, but outgrew it. I would never have touched chicken pot pie when I was young, but now I love it. I think yours looks fantastic. I was very relieved to find out there were no crayons in it.

Anonymous said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :) said...

That looks delicious and I look forward to giving it a try! I LOVE fall comfort foods! One of my favorites is Taco Soup, which I will be posting about soon!

Thanks for the great recipe!