Fall comfort food

Today I took my usual walk.  I’ll show you the view I get to enjoy most days.

Dana Point, California
Dana Point, California

Yeah, I know.  Don’t be a hater!

The temperature was perfect!  Mid 70’s.  No wind.  Blue skies with wispy clouds.  Some days it just feels so good to be alive!

Despite the weather I was in the mood for comfort food.  I think because I’d talked to my son, JD.  Who lives in Oregon.  Who I haven’t seen for 9 months.  Who’s birthday is next week.  Who won’t be driving down for his birthday or Thanksgiving and probably not Christmas either.  Who I miss.  Who has the best dog in the whole wide world who (or is it whom?) I miss also.  Did I happen to mention I’m an emotional eater (as well as a master of incomplete sentences)?

Anyway, comfort food was on tonight’s menu and Boy Howdy did I ever score big time in the comfort department!!  Are you ready for the menu?  Homemade chicken pot pie with puff pastry crust.  Homemade buttermilk biscuits.  Homemade cranberry pomegranate butter.  Ready for a picture?

chicken pot pie, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry pomegranate butter
chicken pot pie, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry pomegranate butter

Some people head for the Ben & Jerry’s when they feel the need to eat their emotions.  That’s way too pedestrian for me!  I go for floury, buttery, and sugary carbs.  It’s a good thing I’m a relatively even keeled person!

In case you’re interested, here is the recipe for the chicken pot pie.  I can’t site a source since I scanned numerous recipes on the internet.  I cobbled together a few of them, added some of my own touches and this is what I made.  Feel free to change up the vegetables with whatever suites you.  Next time I will add mushrooms.

Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large or 2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed

3/4 c frozen peas

1-1/2 cups cut up cooked chicken (can use a store bought roasted chicken, baked chicken tenders, or heck, just roast your own)

1 quart chicken stock

1 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil for sautéing)

6 Tablespoons butter

6 Tablespoons flour

1/4 cup cream, half & half, or milk

Salt & pepper to taste

Puff pastry, thawed according to package directions

1 beaten egg (to brush on pastry crust)

In large pot, heat oil.  Sauté onion until soft and slightly browned.  Add celery and carrot.  Sauté for a few minutes to soften then add potatoes and chicken stock.  Add sage and garlic powder, plus any other seasonings that strike your fancy.  Bring to boil, reduce, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Add frozen peas and stir until warmed through.  Using slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl.  Transfer stock to large measuring cup or other container.  In large pot, melt butter then add flour one tablespoon at a time stirring constantly.  Keep stirring over low heat until mixture begins to brown slightly.  Slowly pour in chicken stock.  Mixture will be very thick.  Add cream and continue to stir.  Mix in chicken and vegetables.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into 9 x 13 rectangular baking dish or large deep round baking dish.   Cover with puff pastry.  Brush with beaten egg mixture.  Cut 3-4 vents into crust.  Bake at 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cover with foil.  Bake an additional 25 minutes.

Note:  This is a VERY LARGE RECIPE!  It can easily be cut in half for a smaller family.  It can also be made ahead in individual ramekins, frozen, then baked when needed, adjusting the time accordingly.

Now for the Cranberry Pomegranate Butter.  This started off as a relish, but the pomegranate seeds were just too chewy for my taste.  So I pushed the relish through a strainer and the end result was a smooth consistency.  Yummy!

Cranberry Pomegranate Butter

1 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

1 package fresh cranberries.

1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1 stick cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In medium saucepan, combine orange juice and sugar.  Bring to boil, reduce and simmer 5 minutes.  Add cranberries and simmer for another 10 minutes until cranberries “pop”.  Add cinnamon stick, cloves. and pomegranate seeds.  Stir.  Can be refrigerated at this point if you don’t mind the texture.  If you do, then blend with immersion blender and put through strainer.  It freezes great!  Make a double batch and save some for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The biscuit recipe was the one on the side of the self-rising flour package.  You’re on your own for that one!

So, the next time the weather cools and you’re in the mood for some warm comforting food, try this chicken pot pie recipe.  I think you’ll really love it!

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