Inside-Out Chicken and Root Vegetable “Pot Pie”

30 Dec

Hey! How about a recipe post on the ol’ blog?

A few weeks ago, as I laid in bed, trying to fall asleep—which nowadays means laying in bed, listening to the whooshing sounds coming over the baby monitor and watching the clock, waiting for a baby to stir—I was smacked in the head with the idea for this dish.

I used to do some of my best thinking while out running. I now do it in bed, when I should be sleeping.

Oh well.

Make this. You won’t regret it.

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Inside-Out Chicken and Root Vegetable “Pot Pie”

(Inspired by a chicken a la king dish on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network and adapted from Food Network)

The name of the game with this dish is comfort. Tender, flavorful roasted root vegetables and a wee bit of roasted chicken breast are enveloped in a light, yet rich mushroom gravy and served over fluffy buttermilk biscuits. It’s food that is healthy for the body and soul.

Ingredients

3 sweet potatoes, cubed
4 red potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced
5 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups mushroom both (or vegetable or chicken stock)
Dried parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery and garlic with the oil and salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in the oil, then pour the vegetables onto a large baking sheet or two; just make sure the veggies aren’t too crowded or they will steam, rather than roast. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown.

20131217_175123 While the vegetables are roasting, brush the chicken breasts with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place them on another baking sheet and roast until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Cube the chicken so it is about the same size as the vegetables.

When the vegetables and chicken are almost done, in a large Dutch oven, heat the 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Then add the 4 cups of stock and whisk until it starts to thicken. Sprinkle in a bit of dried parsley, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

20131217_211105 Add the roasted vegetables and chicken to the gravy. Then add the chives. Stir to combine.

Serve hot over buttermilk biscuits.

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This new take on pot pie was a huge hit. I like the idea of pot pie, but I don’t often like the execution. Most pot pies are filled with too-salty gravy and out-of-the-freezer mixed vegetables (which means peas…and we all know how I feel about peas). But this “pot pie” took all the good things about the traditional comfort-food and put a spin on them.

Roasting the vegetables brings out an incredible amount of flavor and adds a lovely velvety texture to the already rich-tasting (but not totally unhealthy) gravy. And serving it all over biscuits? Well that’s just the best… because who doesn’t like a warm, buttery biscuit?

This dish could easily be made vegetarian, if necessary; just omit the chicken and be sure to use mushroom or vegetable stock for the gravy.

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