When the weather is murky, I want to hunker down on the couch with a fluffy blanket and a steaming mug of tea in my hands. I imagine a romantic movie on the television or an adventurous novel in my lap. And while I’m relaxing there is a comfort meal cooking in the oven.
Mama, isn’t that a glorious dream? Hopefully you get a chance to personalize that scene and make it a reality one day! Even if you can’t have all of those details, there is one thing you can have: a comfort dinner.
What is comfort food?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines comfort food as “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Ahh yes, comfort food conjures up all the feels and emotions.
But I much prefer some of the cultural definitions of comfort food listed on Urban Dictionary:
- Favorite foods of childhood.
- Food that is not only comforting to the taste buds, but all the other senses.
- Food that makes you forget your troubles.
Doesn’t that sound like a dish you’d like to have for dinner this evening? Me too!
My favorite comfort food.
Last week Winter was setting in. Dreary days, early sunsets, and cold winds (plus no snow). I was in dire need of a comforting meal. So I made my favorite comfort food: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie.
It’s one of those meals that always impresses everyone. “Wow, you made homemade chicken pot pie? It must have taken you all afternoon!” Thank you for the compliments, but it hardly took any time at all. Roughly 20 or 30 minutes. For the record, that’s a fast dinner!
Here’s how I created this delicious comfort food in less than a half an hour.
- First, I boiled some chicken in broth. I used small boneless chicken thighs so they only took about 20 minutes.
- While the chicken was boiling I prepared my veggies. If you want to use all fresh veggies, be my guest! But I usually “cheat” with canned or frozen mixed vegetable. (My time is valuable, so I often prefer frozen veggies to fresh.)
- The veggies are steamed and waiting in my large mixing bowl. Now it’s time for the sauce. You can use canned cream of chicken/vegetable soup. But it’s so simple to make my own (see recipe below). I mixed the homemade powder with the water and heated it up until thick, roughly 2 minutes in the microwave.
- The chicken is almost done. I quickly combine the 3 ingredients for the pie crust in my food processor, then roll it out to fit the baking dish. P.S. I bet your kids would LOVE to help with this step!
- The chicken is fully cooked. I chop it and add it to the bowl of veggies. Mix in the soup. Pour into the baking dish. Layer the pie crust on the top. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling.
- ENJOY all the comforts of a home cooked comfort meal!
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Satisfy your comfort food cravings with this easy dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare!
For the filling:
2-4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
4 cans or 2 frozen bags of mixed vegetables
1 batch of Homemade Cream of Anything Soup * (or 1 can of cream of chicken/mushroom/vegetable soup)
For the pie crust:
1 cup flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup cold butter, sliced into Tablespoons
¼ cup ice cold water
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Boil the chicken until fully cooked.
- While the chicken is boiling, drain and rinse canned mixed vegetables or steam frozen mixed vegetables. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare 1 bath of soup if using the Homemade Cream of Anything Soup. Add soup to the bowl of vegetables.
- Make the pie crust by pulsing the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor. Gradually add the water until the dough forms a ball. On a floured surface, roll out to the size of your baking dish or pie plate.
- When the chicken is done boiling, cut into bite sized chunks and add to the mixing bowl. Combine the vegetables, chicken, and soup thoroughly. Pour into baking dish.
- Lay the pie crust on top of the baking dish. Firmly press the edges of the dough onto the edges of the dish. Pierce the dough multiple times with a fork (to vent).
- Bake at 400 for 30 minutes until bubbling.
- This is also an excellent way to use leftover turkey (after Thanksgiving or Christmas).
- Making dinner for a crowd? Add extra chicken and vegetables and prepare this in a large 9×13 baking dish.
- Love the crust? Make a double bath – one crust for the bottom/sides of the dish, and one crust for the top.