When summer comes to a close, I have to admit, I am sad to see the vegetable garden empty, with only the sweet potato vines, herbs and fern-like carrot tops dotting the space that had been so densely filled with corn, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and zucchini and that I rarely had to weed. I grieve the end of the heirloom tomatoes for a hot second - then I remember. Carrots. Sweet potato. Comfort food. Fall.
There are only a handful of recipes that, to me, are evocative of all things autumn - chicken pot pie is one of them.
I bastardized a Martha Stewart recipe about 15 years ago, and recently updated it to include my personal favorite food, Sweetbird Kitchen Cheddar Pie Crust Crumbles™. (yes, I consider crumbles to be a food group)
Put on a cozy sweater, harvest the last of the garden, and get in the kitchen to make this for dinner tonight.
2 bags of Sweetbird Kitchen Cheddar Pie Crust Crumbles™
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 lg yellow onion, finely diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced small (about 2 c)
1 c frozen peas
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into ½ in cubes
4 c chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and white pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stick plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ c flour
In a medium- large pot, melt 1 stick of butter, add chicken and cover with water by 1/4 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook chicken for about 15 – 18 minutes.
Remove chicken, cool slightly and cube.
In a Dutch Oven or large pot, melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add diced onion, carrots, sweet potato and a little salt. Cook, stirring, for about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so.
Sprinkle flour onto vegetable mixtures, stirring to coat. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in peas, thyme, season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and combine well.
Line a medium baking dish with one bag of Sweetbird Kitchen Cheddar Pie Crust Crumbles™. Pour in pot pie filling. Top with ½ to a full bag of Sweetbird Kitchen Cheddar Pie Crust Crumbles™ (this is not the time to be stingy – this is comfort food, after all).
Place casserole dish on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 375° oven for 45 minutes. Check partway through to be sure your crumble topping is not getting too brown. If it is, cover loosely with foil.
Let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. If you can.