If you are looking to add a new cookbook to your library or give a gift for Christmas, consider Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. Mr. Bee gifted me this book for Christmas almost ten years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite cookbooks. Read Jenny’s story here. In summary, she recorded her 14-year journey of preparing a family dinner every night for her husband and two children while working full time. The book is organized into phases: Phase 1 -just married, learning to cook; Phase 2 – New Parenthood where your house looks like the epicenter of an explosion; and Phase 3 — Family dinner. Her casual recipes serve 4 people, are easy to follow and beautifully written as if Jenny is providing the narrative to each recipe herself in your kitchen.
Jenny has three additional books, her newest The Weekday Vegetarians released in August and named the best cookbook of the year by Taste of Home. It’s a real-life plan for eating less meat. I’ve always been curious how vegetarians claim they feel very full despite not getting their protein from meat. I am considering adding this book to my library to try out in 2022. The photos in the book look amazing!
So, back to the Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes. It’s super easy to make, looks like you spent a ton of time cooking it and it’s a perfect weeknight meal with a salad since it has all the veggies you need in the pie. It would be the perfect “soul” food for someone needing a warm hug and dinner – one and the same. I like that you can use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes, but Jenny notes that Yukon gold potatoes are perfectly fine as a substitute. We made it right after Thanksgiving to use up the last of our smoked turkey and it was so delicious.
Jenny’s recipe calls for fresh thyme, carrots, onion, and peas. You can source your chicken either by roasting it yourself or purchasing a rotisserie chicken from the deli. If you want a fool-proof roasted chicken recipe my friend Katherine Sasser’s recipe from Hurley-House is a must. Another time-saver is Pillsbury pie crusts; each box comes with two pre-made crusts. I’ve also heard great things about Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s brand pie crusts.
With cooler weather upon us, a pot pie is a perfect way to finish the day with enough leftovers for lunch the next day.
Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 large sweet potato peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1⁄2 medium onion, chopped
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup milk (any kind will do. I prefer whole milk)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 store-bought 9-inch pie crust (I like double-crust pot pie because I am a crust gal. You can skip the bottom crust and just cover the top. It’s your preference).
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the potato, carrot, onion, thyme, and salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
While the vegetables are simmering, in a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk and flour. Once veggies are soft, slowly add the flour–milk mixture, stirring until the filling has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chicken and peas.
Add the pot pie filling to a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with the pie crust and cut a few slits on the top to allow the steam to escape while baking. Using a pastry brush, paint with the egg wash, which will result in a nice golden sheen.
Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling looks bubbly inside. You can serve with a side salad or fruit if you wish.