Among other things, the end of summer means that I can put a cease and desist on the endless salad-making and, instead, dive head first into a mound of hot mashed potatoes where I truly belong. Sure, grilling is great fun but I’d rather be standing over a steaming pot of soup, hypnotically stirring away the early nights. I’ve never been much of a summer person anyway, and I always find that as the cold weather creeps back so does my appetite. Bring on the carbs. Here are some other cozy things I’m looking forward to:
Reading–I don’t read much in the summer because I am so irritable. When it’s colder I feel like I have an excuse to retire to my room at 7 pm with a large glass of wine, several books, and no intention of speaking to anyone for the rest of the evening.
Baths–When you feel like, no matter how many socks you have layered, you just cannot get warm, a bath seems like a beach vacation except there are candles instead of sharks. Much nicer.
Television?–I’m desperately hoping to find a new show to binge this fall. No luck yet (hence question mark), but if you have any recommendations…I almost exclusively watch British period dramas and documentaries but I’m working on expanding my horizons (Outlander is Scottish!). If I can’t find anything new I’ll just watch Downton Abbey for the 500th time, no biggie.
I’m kicking off my cold-weather recipes with a family classic. My dad always makes this stew served with biscuits but I opted for a fully encased pie this time around (it gave me an opportunity to use one of my favorite things). This dish is very hearty and savory, exactly what you’d want to eat after coming in from out of the cold. It’s basically edible comfort. Get cozy and enjoy.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie
- 2 nine-inch pie crusts, either homemade or store-bought*
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 egg for wash
*I used A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe for Homemade Pie Crust
If making your own crust, assemble and chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken on a sheet pan and lightly drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow chicken to rest until cool enough to handle, then cube and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock, bouillon, and salt + pepper. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, melt the butter. Add flour and stir continuously for about 5 minutes. Add chopped carrots and onions and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are slightly softened (about 5-8 minutes). Pour hot stock and bouillon into vegetable mix and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken, peas, and parsley. Combine cornstarch and cream in a small cup, and gradually drizzle into stew. Taste for seasoning. Turn off heat and leave to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375°. Once the stew is cool, roll out half of the chilled dough to fit the size of your dish. (I used a 1 1/2 quart oblong Pyrex baking dish but you could also use a standard 9- or 10-inch pie plate). Whisk egg for wash and apply to the outer edge of bottom crust. Pour in cooled stew, then cover with other half of rolled out dough. Trim off excess overhang of crust. Fold edge of crust under itself and use the prongs of a fork to seal the two pieces together working all the way around the perimeter. Decorate the top of the pie using the extra dough, if desired, then cover in egg wash and a sprinkle of salt + pepper. Use a knife to create a few air vents in the top of the dough. Place on top of a sheet tray and bake for about 1 hour, until crust is golden brown and stew is bubbling inside.