With the days getting colder, I found myself fantasizing last weekend about chicken pot pie. For me, this dish is the epitome of comfort foods: it’s rich, creamy, and warms you up inside and out. The only thing I don’t like about c.p.p. is the crust. I’m a bit afraid to admit this in public, but I am not a crust person. Sweet or savory, I usually just eat this inside of pies.
That is why I knew Mark Bittman’s Chicken Not Pie was a recipe perfect for me. Plus, it is packed full of veggies (including leeks, which are awesome.) I found it in Bittman’s lovely book Food Matters, but you can actually see Bittman make it himself on the Today show. I also love the Today show. : )
Mark Bittman’s Chicken Not Pie (from Food Matters)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed well and diced, including some of the green part
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine or water
- 1 cup vegetable stock or more water
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or tarragon leaves or a good pinch dried thyme or tarragon
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (1 whole breast, split in half), or 4 whole chicken tenderloins
- 2 or 3 large all-purpose potatoes (like redskin or Yukon Gold), peeled if you like and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots or parsnips, cut into coins
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed and strings removed if necessary; or 1 cup shell peas (frozen are fine)
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Put half of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, stock, and herb; bring to a boil, and let bubble for a minute or two.
3. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil; reduce the heat so the liquid bubbles enthusiastically; and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots or parsnips and cook for another couple of minutes. By now the liquid should be thickening; if not, turn the heat up and cook another couple of minutes, stirring to prevent the vegetables from sticking. Add the remaining oil gradually, stirring vigorously with the back of a spoon as you do so.
4. Add the peas and asparagus to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are brightly colored and just tender, about 3 minutes. Chop or slice the chicken and return it to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated and the lemon juice. When warmed through, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with the parsley.