This is nothing fancy, just a quick easy working mom’s weekday meal using leftovers and veggies that most of us always have on hand. Potatoes, carrots and onions are always in my fridge. I also like to keep a bag of peas in the freezer, you can throw them into all sorts of dishes like pastas and soups.
When my daughters still lived at home, our favorite dinner was always roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and a veggie. I made my homemade croutons too and served the chicken and gravy over the toasted croutons. Easy stuffing. I got the idea from Ina Garten. Anytime I buy a roast chicken I also pick up a package of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts. Now you may like to make your own pie crust and I absolutely agree there’s nothing like homemade, but I never mastered a nice, flaky crust and I never really had time for it. But if you prefer to do it that way, by all means knock yourself out. I guarantee you, Andy Radcliffe in my latest novel, Take Me Home, made his own pie crust, too.
The apartment was warm and cozy, the lights dimmed, the delicious aroma of chicken in gravy and buttery pie crust wafting from the kitchen. Andy stoked the potbelly wood stove in the living room. She changed into her favorite cozy nightgown, chenille bathrobe and warm fuzzy socks. “Sorry, I know this isn’t very attractive, but I’m so cold and tired.”
“You look really cute,” he said. “Welcome home.” Home. The little apartment above the restaurant truly did feel like home. They sat on pillows in front of the wood stove, where he lit a candle and served the chicken pot pie.
Here’s the recipe off the top of my head. I do not claim to be a professional chef or a cookbook writer. I most certainly am not a professional food photographer. I write novels that occasionally have some tasty food weaved into the story. Here’s what you’ll need:
Enough leftover chicken to fill a pot pie
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
One large potato, peeled and chopped
One medium sized onion, chopped
Cup of frozen peas
A jar of chicken gravy or if you’re lucky enough to be married to a guy who makes really good gravy and have leftovers use that, or mix it with a jar of gravy if there isn’t enough, which is what I did the night I made this.
Your own pie crust or your favorite brand of refrigerated pie crust
I like a top and bottom crust but you can do just a top crust if that’s what you prefer. You can also use puff pastry sheets. Cooking is all about relaxing and getting creative. Maybe sipping a glass of wine while you cook. There are no rules.
In a large frying pan, saute the onion and carrots in a tablespoon of butter until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and the peas, and saute until the peas are just defrosted. Add the chicken and the gravy to the pan and heat through then pour the chicken mixture into a pie plate, already lined with a bottom crust, or not. Cover with the top crust, making a few slits in the top. I brushed it with one beaten egg.
Then cook about forty five minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Serve with a salad if you like. We had caesar this particular evening, again with the homemade croutons.
I’ll try to take notes the next time my husband makes gravy. He really is a master gravy maker. Some of his friends believe he was a saucier in a previous life, making gravies and sauces for a French king in a castle along the Seine.