Lazy Sunday

Today I sent away a story, previously published, to a podcasting site in the hopes they’ll want to make it an audio story. Not sure if they’ll bite — I really don’t know if it’ll translate well to the audio format — but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Then we went over to our friends’ place and made supper there. We had planned to make it at home, but they were going to be putting up their Christmas tree, so we brought over the ingredients and used their kitchen instead. Mmmm, homemade chicken pot pie.

The Recipe:

(from Chatelaine, Feb. 2006)

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
2cups (500 mL) small broccoli florets
1/2cup (125 mL) frozen peas
vegetable oil
3tbsp (45 mL) butter
1/4cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
1 1/2cups (375 mL) milk
1tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme leaves or rosemary or 3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
1tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 397-g pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Cut chicken into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Prepare vegetables and measure out peas. Lightly coat a large frying pan with oil and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Stir often until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrot, pepper, celery and onion. Stir often until onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables to a bowl.

2. Return pan to burner and reduce heat to medium. Add butter. When melted, gradually whisk in flour until evenly mixed and bubbly, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Whisk until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add broccoli, peas, 1 tsp (5 mL) dried or 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme and salt. Return chicken and onion mixture to pan. Stir to evenly coat. Mixture will be very thick. Turn into an 8-inch (2-L) square baking dish or dish that will hold 8 cups (2 L) and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Cut pastry in half to form two small pieces. To cover 8-inch square dish, on a lightly floured surface roll each piece into a 10-inch (25-cm) square. It’s OK if edges are uneven. Brush one square with egg, then sprinkle remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) dried or 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh thyme overtop. Cover with remaining square. Press together.

4. Carefully pick up pastry and lay over filling. Tuck in any overhanging edges. Press edges of pastry onto rim of dish. With a knife tip, pierce middle of pastry in 3 or 4 places to allow steam to escape. Lightly brush top with egg. Bake in centre of preheated oven until golden and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sauce will thicken as it sits.

It’s really forgiving — we used almost twice the veggies, made a bit more sauce, and put it in a rectangular casserole dish, and it was f-i-n-e.

Then, after supper and tree, we watched the tail end of Home Alone on YTV, and then we came home.