February is a between month in Houston meaning that it’s somewhere between winter and spring. Some days are bright and sunny with temperatures in the low 60’s, very pleasant indeed. Other days are winter like with molten gray skies that promise rain. Those are the days that one wishes to stay inside with a good book by a cozy fire.
The gray days always make me think of comfort food, the kind that reminds of home and warms from the inside out. Those foods are generally simple made with the most basic ingredients. More often than not comfort food turns my thoughts to pot pie of one sort or another. I don’t know if there is a favorite because every time I make one there’s some little tweak to the recipe.
This one happens to start with a rotisserie chicken from Costco and is done completely in a cast iron skillet. The result is much like any chicken pot pie, but it doesn’t mess up as many pots and pans and has a surprise ingredient.
Chicken Pot Pie
Saute 2 onions, finely chopped, in 3 T. butter until soft. Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 cups chopped turnips and 1 T. thyme. Season all with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 3-4 T. of flour and stir for about 30 seconds. Add 1 c. of white wine and cook for about 1 minute or until most of the wine has cooked off. Add 1 c. cream or half and half, 4 c. shredded chicken and 1-1 1/2 c. veggie of your choice, i.e., green peas, corn, carrots. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Place skillet on a baking sheet.
Roll out a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Be sure it is large enough to fit the skillet. Place the pastry atop the chicken mixture letting it overhang the edge of the skillet. Fold the edges under and crimp with a fork. Brush the pastry with 1 T. cream and cut small slits in the top. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Reduce oven to 350 and continue baking for about 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
You may have figured out the surprise ingredient is turnips which add an interesting flavor. Parsnips or potatoes may be substituted if you have a thing about turnips. For the wine, any dry white is acceptable. I most often use vermouth which is failsafe. I happened to have puff pastry for the top, but a purchased pie crust would also work or if you are really industrious, you can make your own.
No matter what ingredients you prefer, this pot pie is more than satisfying, and using step saving ones makes it quite easy to prepare. That’s always a plus in my book.