Good Food Box Ottawa, recipe two: Single-serving chicken pot pies

Words cannot describe the irrational love I have for miniature foods. There is nothing better in the universe than a single-sized meal.

My positive conception of individual portion sizes can likely be blamed on one of three things:
1. My obsession with shamelessly showing off my homemade meals in class – meals that are neatly baked into a cute little Pyrex containers.
2. My childhood love of airplane food and the neat little single meals served up on a just-the-right-size plastic tray. 3. My OCD. Admit it, single-servings just look more organized and clean. Don’t believe my obsessiveness is accurate? My new favourite Tumblr blog shows evidence to the contrary.

Beautiful organization (my new desktop background)

Anyways, to say these chicken pot pies were an impulsive dinner decision would be an understatement. Besides the preemptive purchasing of a roast chicken, all prior planning was lost in the heat of a post-Wednesday class panic. Like I said in my previous post, I made these pot pies for my friend Jessey and I. Like I also said in that post, I have a completely unwarranted fear of cooking for people (can likely be blamed on the need-to-impress issues that took root as a child). Before deciding to make these for dinner, Jessey and I had been flirting with the idea of take out. Jessey said she was starving and was experiencing a violent craving for chow mein noodles.

In the end, it was my need to impress guests and the fear of a crippling post-Chinese-food coma that won, and I decided a dinner quickie (gutter, remove your head) was in order.

Luckily I just happened to have everything I needed thanks to my Good Food Box. Like I mentioned before, the box provided me with a bounty of vegetables to use and, unless I planned on making minestrone soup for a million armies, I needed to use it fast. These pot pies were the perfect veggie-users, and the meal guts contained onion, celery, mushrooms and red pepper. Unrelated to the good food box offerings, but can we just mention how half roast chickens from the grocery store are the Food God’s gift to student kind?

Seriously, fellow students. Buy a pre-roasted chicken. Your life will be changed; your meal-making time minimized.

But really, this was actually a very student-friendly meal. It took me about 40 minutes to prepare and involved several food cheats. Whatever do I mean? Well, my timesaver cheats came in the form of a can of peas/carrots and frozen puff pastry. Remember when Todd got called out on Top Chef Canada for not making his own puff pastry? Well I am not Todd. I am a student and will cheat at dinner as much as I possibly can. So there.

End result: these were pretty awesome. This recipe made two, baby Pyrex pot pies and one tiny Ramekin one. In an act of ultimate sacrifice, I only ate the tiny Ramekin worth of pot pie the night of in order to take pictures in daylight the next day. The things I do for food photography.

PS: IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EVERYONE OWN A SET OF PYREX DISHES.

My food photography sets just keep getting more and more ridiculous. I had to reheat the pot pie after this one.

Recipe: Single-serving chicken pot pies
Inspired by Katherine Martinelli [dot] com
– 1/2 tbsp, olive oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 stalk celery, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tsp dry thyme
– Dash of salt and pepper
– 1/4 red pepper, diced
– 2/3 cup canned peas/carrots, drained
– Half a pre-roasted chicken, shredded
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 1/2 cup water
– Half a package of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

In a large, non-stick pan, heat the oil on medium. Fry the onion, garlic and thyme until onion is beginning to get soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the celery, salt and pepper, diced red pepper and peas and carrots. Add the chicken stock and water and bring to boil. Toss in the shredded chicken and reduce liquid to a simmer. Cover and let bubble for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, unroll your sheet of frozen puff pastry. Using your Pyrex dish as a guide, measure out the circle of the pastry and cut using a knife. Make two pastry circles for each Pyrex dish. Put one pastry circle at the bottom of the Pyrex dish, fill with the vegetable mixture and put the other pastry circle on top. Repeat for second Pyrex dish.

Makes two (and a baby) servings.

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