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It’s springtime, right?! Time for daring women to don sun dresses and flip flops. Well, if you’re anywhere in Washington, you’re probably not anywhere close to admitting that Easter is less than a month away (let alone wearing flip flops on a habitual basis). All of the beautiful flowers are lying to you. Those daffodils and cherry blossoms have no business blooming when I’m still wearing all these layers. While my friends are on vacation in warm, sunny places like Hawaii and California (why couldn’t you pack me in your suitcase??), it has been so cold, windy, and rainy up here at the 47th parallel, that I went and whipped me up some chicken pot pie.

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I know what you’re thinking, “But Ginelle, it’s April. Pot pie is a warm, comforting dish you make in the really cold months.” Well, some places up north and in the passes just got snow a couple weeks ago — hence my reasoning for making this delicious, creamy pot pie. And I can tell you that my husband, who works outside in all kinds of weather, really appreciated it too.

CAM00101Now, if you’ve never had my mama’s pie crust, you are seriously missing out! It’s so tender and flaky — the perfect accompaniment to creamy pie filling, full of chicken and veggies. Not to mention this pie crust is ridiculously easy, and this is coming from someone who hates making pie crust. Who has time to roll out crust? You don’t even have to chill this crust, just mix it all up, roll it out, and put it on whatever pie you’re making! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. If you only want one double crust, you can easily just half this recipe, or save the other crust for later in the freezer.

My featured ingredient for this recipe is Stahlbush Island Farms Green Peas. Not only is the farm in the Pacific Northwest (found in Corvallis, OR), but the company is green, and I mean so eco-friendly that you’ll never want to eat any other peas, cause eating these peas makes you feel so darn good about your food. Stahlbush bans GMOs, makes their own electricity, and even puts their products in a 100% biodegradable bag, among other awesome sustainable practices. I’m definitely a fan, and you should be too!!

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Mama Q’s Perfect Pie Crust (Makes 2 double crusts)

4 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 cups shortening

1 3/4 t. salt

1/2 cup water

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 T. vinegarCAM00080(1)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a fork or pastry cutter until dough resembles small pebbles.

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2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and pour into shortening mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, or use your hands, and mix until just incorporated. The less you play with pie dough, the better it will be!

CAM00083(1)3. If it feels difficult to handle, chill for 15-20 minutes. My mom never chills it, but sometimes I feel like it needs it — totally up to you!!

 

Pie Filling

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed

1 large or 2 medium sized potatoes, diced

4 carrots, scrubbed and diced

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup Stahlbush Island Farms frozen green peas (or any frozen peas)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 T cornstarch

1/2 cup heavy cream

3-4 oz cream cheese, cubed

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

5-6 fresh sage leaves

salt & pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

Thyme sprigs for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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2. Drizzle vegetable oil In a large pot and cook potatoes over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until potatoes start developing some color.
Add carrots, onion and celery to pot and cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Add more oil if needed — potatoes love oil!

CAM00090(1)3. Add chicken, garlic, and fresh herbs, stir well and cook until garlic is fragrant. Add 2 cups of broth and let simmer.

4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1/2 cup broth and, while stirring, pour it into pot with chicken mixture. Cook until mixture is thickened. Add cream cheese and simmer until melted and incorporated. If mixture is not thick enough, you can always add more cornstarch – but just a little at a time! You don’t want your filling to be a paste. Make sure to mix it with a little water first so you don’t get lumps in your filling. Taste and season with salt and pepper!

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5. Roll out pie dough on a well floured board and cut out circles that overhang the edge of the ramekins by 1/2 inch. Divide mixture among four large ramekins or make one big pie! Mix egg with a Tbsp of water to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, paint the outer edge of the ramekin with the wash. This will help the crust stick to the ramekin. Lay the crust over the top of the ramekin and pinch the edges together. Cut a couple slits into the crust so the filling can release steam while cooking. Brush crust with egg wash and garnish with sprigs of thyme, if desired.

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6. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Now, go curl up on your couch with your pie, a blanket and a good movie and enjoy!!

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