This recipe for chicken pot pie is packed full of spring vegetables in a creamy white wine sauce and served up on a bed of baby arugula.
I did not grow up in a pie household. One of my very first memories – when I had only one year and several months behind me in life – is of my mom struggling to make pie crust (a story for a different time). It is also the only memory I have of her making pie crust. The pies I knew were made by family members for Thanksgiving or gazed upon through thick glass at the bakery but never purchased. Their crisp crust and golden crimped tops seemed unattainable at home.
Yet pie is rather plentiful in the childhood home of my offspring. Fruit seasons are marked by stocking the freezer with plump pastries. A trip to the field or orchard almost undoubtedly means a slice for dessert. Hiking the berry paths in the woods under the August sun is cause for rolling up sleeves and breaking out the butter.
It should be of no surprise, then, that the mere suggestion of stuffing a double crust full of leftover chicken and all the spring vegetables we could come by was welcomed by the brood. Having never experienced the metallic foil rounds found in the freezer section and, therefore, harboring no preconceived notion of what chicken pot pie might be, they eagerly picked radishes and peas at the supermarket where we shopped while it rained and then snowed.
Once home, they picked thyme leaves from stems for the crust before I set them on pulling pea strings to open the pods and reveal the plump little rounds inside.
Pies are inherently personal. They require someone to craft them with care, to cut butter into tiny cubes, to lovingly roll dough, select fillings, crimp crusts. A good baker transfers a bit of themselves into the layers of pastry and filling as their fingerprints mark the edge of the dough.
As the pie maker (not to be confused with THE piemaker), I delight in seeing the golden crust emerge from the oven. I take comfort in watching my loved ones sit with a slice. The compliments paid me by my husband don’t hurt either.
We made flaky, thyme-kissed pie crust and filled it with spring radishes, overwintered leeks, the first peas (not mine, mind you) of the season, leftover pulled chicken all simmered in a white wine and steeped herbs. A bed of baby arugula brightens up the rich qualities, and the combination is earthy and comforting. The fresh vegetables make this a perfect transitional dish as we head into spring, and here in Minnesota, we’re definitely still on the journey towards and not yet living it.
A few weeks ago I was invited by King Arthur Flour to participate in their Bake for Good tour. We met up with their baker extraordinaire Susan Reid, who had us making pies and baking bread, and then we packed them all up to serve at the Family Services Center here in MN the following day. It was a wonderful way to be able to use something as basic as food in a powerful and meaningful way.
King Arthur Flour is encouraging people to use their flour to Bake for Good, whether it be for an elderly neighbor, a friend in need, the fire department, or any cause you see fit to share your food with. You can get in on the fun by using #bakeforgood and sharing your pictures and stories through social media.
To help you get started, I’m giving away a few King Arthur goodies, including a $50 gift card to their online store. Happy baking!
photo source: Jena Carlin
FRONT ROW: Jena – Little Rusted Ladle, Natasha – King Arthur Flour, Alice – Hip Foodie Mom, moi, Erin – The Law Student’s Wife
CENTER ROW: Julia – King Arthur Flour, Kathryne – Cookie and Kate, Chef Susan – King Arthur Flour, Stefani – Cupcake Project, Taylor – Greens & Chocolate, Kristin – Pastry Affair
BACK ROW: Amanda – i am baker, Brenda – A Farmgirl’s Dabbles, Jim – Little Rusted Ladle
This giveaway is offered by King Arthur Flour. I was not paid for my participation in Bake for Good, nor for this post. Plus, we could all do a bit more baking for good, in my opinion.