The first day of spring

Sunday, March 20, 2016


"Wrap me close, sheets of lavender. Pour your blue and purple dreams into my ears. The breeze whispers at the shutters and mutters queer tales of old days, and cobbled streets, and youths leaping their horses down marble stairways. Pale blue lavender, you are the colour of the sky when it is fresh-washed and fair ... I smell the stars ... they are like tulips and narcissus ... I smell them in the air."

- from "Spring Day" by Amy Lowell

Today's recipe is an all-season one that I've probably never made the same way twice. Below is one simple variation, but it's easily changed to accommodate the time of year and what you have on hand. In honour of the first day of spring, you might add a little sautéed leek in with the onions. If you make it in the summer, use fresh vegetables rather than frozen. If you want a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and forgo the chicken for broccoli and cauliflower pieces. Slice up a few mushrooms and sauté them along with the onions for extra flavour. You can replace the chicken with lamb, and you could top the pot pie with mashed potatoes, biscuits, or puff pastry. (If using puff pastry, cut a sheet of pastry in narrow slices and make a cross-hatch pattern.

Sometimes I cook it all up in one casserole, and sometimes I put it in mini loaf pans or ramekins. The latter are perfect to freeze for another meal, or to deliver to a university student in need of home-cooked food!

Chicken pot pie
(assembled from my imagination, and whatever I have in the fridge)

2 medium potatoes
milk
4 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
kosher salt
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen edamame or peas
1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme or rosemary
2 cooked chicken breasts (preferably roasted), cut into bite-sized pieces

Boil potatoes until just tender. Let drain and mash with a bit of milk. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium pot, and add diced onions. Sauté until golden-brown. Add flour, and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Add chicken broth and stir until it thickens. Add kosher salt to taste.

Remove from the heat and add vegetables and herbs. Stir in chicken pieces and combine to mix. Cover with mashed potatoes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes (when cooking in ramekins or loaf pans) or 30-40 minutes (when cooking in a single casserole).

21 comments:

Liz Berg said...

This is one of Bill's favorite comfort food. I love the option of topping with a lattice pastry crust!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Looks good. I wonder if I could make substitutions to make it vegetarian.

I Wilkerson said...

I have wanted to do something like this with Thanksgiving leftovers for ages. The lattice top is beautiful--perhaps this will inspire me to finally do it!

Julie said...

Love, love pot pie and I make mine the same way, with whatever is in the house.

That Girl said...

I always think of pot pie as a winter comfort food, but I could see it for spring with the right veggies.

That Girl said...

I always think of pot pie as a winter comfort food, but I could see it for spring with the right veggies.

adina beck said...

I had quite a disastrous experience with an extremely complicated chicken and leek pie almost 10 years ago and never tried it again. This version sounds so easy and delicious, I might give it a try again. I am sure my kids would love it!

Monica said...

I have always wanted to make chicken pot pie but have not done it for whatever reasons! I like your recipe - it's not intimidating at all and you make it sound very flexible, baking it in different vessels. You've inspired me! : )

Laura Dembowski said...

This looks soooo comforting! It's still a great way to transition to spring for sure, especially with the peas!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, chicken pot pie is the best!

Katerina said...

These last moment whatever I have available meals sometimes are real gems!

grace said...

oooh, getting fancy with the lattice! i love chicken pot pie--it's one of my go-to comfort foods. the lattice makes it extra special. :)

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, chicken pot pie is one of my favorite comfort meals, this looks like a real keeper.

Angie Schneider said...

Can't even remember when I last had a chicken pot pie. It looks super duper comforting and delicious, Beth.

Kitchen Riffs said...

When I was a kid, we only had those frozen chicken pot pies. Bleh. Didn't really understand the appeal of the dish. Now, of course, I do -- homemade chicken pot pie is gourmet stuff. At least yours is! I haven't made this dish in ages -- thanks for reminding me it's time again. :-)

Cakelaw said...

Yum, this looks so good. It is just starting to get cool here, so this would be the perfect dish for the cold days ahead.

Tricia Buice said...

Chicken pot pie is always a good idea no matter how it is cooked! This looks and sounds wonderful - thanks for sharing!

DMS said...

I have been in the mood for pot pie. :) I am a vegetarian- but the suggestions you gave are great and I am going to have to try them out soon (and again when I have fresh veggies from my garden). Thanks for sharing (and for making me hungry).
~Jess

Marcela N said...

Chicken pot pie looks divine!

lisa is cooking said...

The lattice top is so pretty! I love this for spring with bright, green peas.

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

Chicken pot pie and chicken and dumplings are my son's favorite meals on the planet. Yours looks delicious and the lattice crust is a beautiful touch, Beth!

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