Happy December you guys!
So we’re all planning to live it up this month and do it right, aren’t we??? I mean, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! Haha, I’ve actually been going back and forth all since yesterday between “I can’t believe it’s here, yay!”, “Oh my goodness, it’s already here, yikes!”, and “Ah man, it’s going to be over soon!” Yep, I’m weird like that, totally guilty.
Honestly though, it’s really messing with my head that it’s getting so hot here. Okay, I know, I know, I’ve said this every year now that we’ve lived here in South America, but it’s still as true now as the last few years. Maybe more true, if anything. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving some warmth, I just wish it was May. The other day I told our Peruvian pet, Diego (Jk, he’s really from Venezuela but it became an inside joke that he’s Peruvian when so many of our friends that he’s been introduced to couldn’t remember his origin country.) that I now understand why he doesn’t know any Christmas songs. Seriously, it’s no fun to sing about sleigh rides and snowmen when you’re breaking out your shorts and flip-flops. Grrrrrr.
Anyway, because of that I’ve been feeling like I cant think of any ideas for cozy Winter dinners or dream up new flavors like I usually can. It’s simply too hot to think of that type of comfort food. In fact, I’m so lost on inspiration that this recipe was way too last-minute for my taste. I actually just finished it yesterday. Even though I sometimes can work better under pressure, I really don’t like getting that close to crunch and feeling unprepared. It’s my own fault though, I’ve been inspired by the weather to break out of my usual routines and so I’ve been ditching stuff left and right. #slacker
Okay, but let’s get to the point here and talk pot pie, or skillet pie if were gonna get technical here. Guys, I try to never say stuff like this lightly because it cheapens it, but um, this one is a major, big time, winner winner chicken dinner! No joke, every single one of my family members that took their first bite raved over this ’cause it’s that good. Chase nearly danced and Liv is already begging me to make it again.
So how did I think of this despite the inspiration blockages that I just described? Well, I dug deep and tried to remember some classics I used to love growing up and I thought of this casserole that our church used to make for feeding a crowd at meetings. You may even be familiar with it, chicken poppy seed casserole? It’s a very basic recipe that involves Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and Ritz crackers crumbled all over the top. Alright, I know my recipes are far from being consistently healthy, but I can’t bring myself to use canned soups when it’s SO much better from scratch. I feel much better sharing this recipe because of that. It’s rich, yes, (hello it’s pot pie) but it’s all made with whole ingredients.
I did try to sneak in some vegetation for good measure though. I added cauliflower to help break up the richness because it hides great in these types of things. Also, I was going to do a typical casserole pan for thin until I decided last minute to bake it in my poor under-used cast iron skillets because, let’s be honest, they always make things look better, agreed??? I love those things!
Welp, I’m pretty sure that covers just about everything I wanted to say about this and now all that’s left if for you to get to making it! Trust me on this one ->->-> ULTIMATE comfort food!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 tablespoons lard, coconut oil, or vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) ice cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water for brushing on top
- 4 cooked chicken breasts or meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 extra large head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk + 2 tablespoon whole milk
- 2- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or a shallow pot and add the onions, garlic, and cauliflower. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Whisk the stock, broth, cream, and flour in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour it into the pan and bring to a boil, stir continuously until it begins to thicken. Once it starts to get thicker, reduce heat to low and add poppy seeds and cheese; stir until melted. Add the chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool while you make the crusts.
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse. Add butter and lard and pulse a few times more until crumbly. Add water and process until the dough comes together adding more water if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two halves. Flatten into disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for 1 hour or until ready to use.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease either a 13x9 inch rectangular pan or a 12-inch plus a 5 or 6 inch cast iron skillet. Divide the dough in half and roll out one half on lightly floured surface into a circle or rectangle, depending on your pan, that is roughly 1/8 inch thick (if doing in skillets, divide the halves of dough into a 1/3 portion for the small pan and a 2/3 portion for the big one before rolling). Gently wrap the crust around your rolling pin and lift it over your pan. Unroll over pan and press down then trim edges leaving 1 inch of overhang. Poke holes in crust with fork and pour filling into crust(s).
- Gather any remaining scraps and the other half of dough and roll it out again for the top layer. Again, wrap around your rolling pin and lift over your pie, then carefully unroll to lay it on top. Crimp the edges together, making any trim design you'd like (I went for the ultimate lazy option with mine.)
- [Tip: The filling likes to bubble over while baking so it helps if you place your pan or skillets on foil lined trays]
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl and brush over the top of pie(s), then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for around 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden. Remove from oven and serve hot!