02 March 2008


This has been a throwback winter in Chicago. Twenty years ago this much snow was the rule, but we had begun to believe in Al Gore... or at least in a perpetual El Nino. So, February drags on into March and we gather friends and family around the fire for some consolation and comfort food.

Chicken pot pie and banana splits offer the solace we're seeking. We talk and laugh and eat to contentment. Work tomorrow, but tonight our tummies our smiling.

Chicken Pot Pie
If you want to go all out, you can make a pâte brisée from Martha Stewart, but only a total foodie will notice if you opt for the Pillsbury Ready Crusts available at your local market.

2 T. Butter
2 T. Olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced medium
4 Carrots, thinly sliced
3 Celery stalks, thinly sliced
8 oz. Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Medium potatoes, cooked until tender crisp and diced medium
4 Chicken breast halves, simmered with a bit of celery and onion then diced medium
32 oz Chicken stock [approximate amount]
Prepared pie crust

In large saucepan, melt butter with olive oil.
Saute onions, carrots, celery until onions are transparent and vegetables are tender crisp.
Stir in flour, and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes.
Gradually add chicken stock until it combines with the flour to make a smooth gravy consistency.
Add mushrooms and simmer over medium low heat for a minute or two.
Stir in potatoes and cooked chicken breast chunks.
Pour into a medium sized casserole dish or deep-dish pie pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with pie crust; crimp edges and use a small knife to make vent holes in crust top.
Bake at 350 degrees until pie crust is golden brown.

Banana Splits
Strawberry topping
Pineapple topping
Chocolate topping
Whipped cream
Chopped nuts
Maraschino cherries

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