Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

So I've made a few changes in my eating patterns in the past couple weeks.  But the relevent one is keeping vanilla soymilk onhand.  I bought it to make cornbread and tried to come up with ways to use it and found I prefer soymilk on cereal and in pancakes, and by the recommendation of ctheflute, in chicken pot pie as well.  And I figured, soymilk has so many advantages: it has the same calcium as regular milk, but lower sugar (granted it is added sugar while regular milk's sugar is natural), slightly few calories and higher protein, it tastes great in lots of baked goods, it doesn't bother my stomach before runs, and it lasts longer.  The longer refridgerator life is probably the most appealing quality given my weird schedule this semester (I don't always eat any meals at home, which means I don't drink any milk all day).  Of course it has it's disadvantages, most notably, I can't just drink a glass of it.  Also, the soybean industry is pretty corrupt, on the level of meat manufacturers (only with less problems with foodborne illness).  However, the problem with soybeans is the wind mixes seeds of the big company (yes, there is only one, which is one of the big issues) and the smaller farmers, so you can't buy pure, fairly raised products.  This should almost be enough to not eat soyproducts, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not going to give up edamame or putting tofu on my thai food at restaurants (although these wouldn't be huge sacrifices), so it would be kind of pointless to not drink soymilk in the name of supporting local farmers.  But my point is, I'm not going to drink it exclusively.  I'm thinking of switching to buying a half gallon of milk at a time and drinking that, while using soymilk for cereal and baking.  It might limit the issues I have with milk going bad before I can finish it off.

Anyway, the point of this entry is I made chicken pot pie.  Only it was more like veggie pot pie with chicken.  By the recommendation of Runner's World, an easy way to get more veggies in is to switch up the classic casserole by amping up the veggies and cutting back on the meat.  So I used ctheflute's recipe as a starting point, but the final product was really nothing like that.  Also, her recipe calls for a double crust, but after making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I was out of shortening (and don't really like buying more since I rarely use it) and had milk that was about to go bad, so I made a biscuit top instead.  I threw together a bunch of veggies, some fresh, some frozen, and honestly, I didn't measure, so these are approximations.  Also, I had chicken stock (as well as chicken) in the freezer from the free rotessarie chicken I got from Whole Foods on Labor day, so I'm not exactly sure how much of that I used, maybe a cup of stock?  Well, I guess the best advice I have is make this to the appropriate texture, rather than following my advice carefully.  Oh, this made a 9x13 pan

4 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup vanilla soymilk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp sage
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp basil
ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cup frozen vegetables (I mixed peas and leftover frozen veggie blend)
1 1/2 cup instant biscuit mix
3/4 cup milk

Melt butter in large saucepan, add onions, celery, carrots, and 1/4 cup of soymilk, cook until tender (or tenderish).  Add flour, sage, tarragon, basil and pepper.  Stir until blended.  Add rest of soymilk and chicken stock and cook until thick and bubbly.  Add chicken and frozen veggies and season to taste.  Mix and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 400.  Make biscuit topping as directed (mine said 2 to 1 ratio of mix to milk, no egg needed).  Pour veggie/chicken mix into 9x13 pan.  Top with biscuit mix.  Bake for about half an hour or until golden.

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