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Barefoot! Pot Pie

October 23, 2008

Every year a bunch of A-10 pilots, maintainers and enthusists get together to pay tribute to fallen warthogs, then compete in a tactical gunnery and bombing competition called Hawgsmoke.  This of course, prompted The Husband to organize a group of people to drive to Salina, KS to watch the competition last week.  Knowing I desperately miss our military community and the smell of jet fuel, on his way out of the door last Thursday, The Husband looked at me and said, “Come on… call in sick!  Come with me!”  Always the good girl, I reluctantly hugged him goodbye and told him to have a good time without me.

That evening after lengthy discussions of the day spent watching our beloved hogs (the a-10 is The Husband’s jet…) and spending time in the company of other military service members, The Husband announced, “Honey!  I forgot to tell you… I might have found another military wife for you!  I told him I’d check with the Commander (that’s me) about having them over for dinner Saturday night.”  Sweet.  After checking the calendar I told The Husband the mission was a go. 

We had a million things to do this past weekend so I wanted to serve something quick and easy for my audition dinner guests.  Knowing Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen chose vegetable pot pies for this week’s Barefoot recipe, I grabbed the ingredients needed for my own chicken pot pie, plus a butternut squash thinking I’d have everything necessary.

Dinner was fun.  It was nice to be around another military wife for a change.  Between the lingering smile lines on The Husband’s face from being around his hogs, to the light banter between the Marine Corps family and us, The Air Force family… the evening could be counted mostly a success. 

Nothing is ever a true success in the Cat House though.  Our guests arrived on time, but I was nowhere near ready to serve dinner. As I cooked, The Marine Wife and I chatted back and forth about military life and ADD.  I forgot to take pictures of the pot pies when they came out of the oven and after grace, we all dug in.  About a quarter of the way through my dinner I looked at The Husband, who was finished and quietly asked him, “Honey, please take a picture really quick… it’s for Barefoot.”  Misunderstanding what I was saying, he dug in and ate the rest of my dinner.  Of course, after a very strange look from me (it was probably raging hunger and panic at the fact that my dinner was now happily residing in his stomach) he asked me what was wrong… I said, “I asked you to take a picture of that…”  He replied, “Oh.  I thought you were finished.  I’m sorry.”  He jumped up and grabbed the camera and snapped a really terrible picture… 

I remade the potpies last night so I could at least give them a chance at glamour.  Of course, I couldn’t make Ina’s recipe exactly as written.  I made my lightened up version with a few additions to make it more Inalike.  I’m glad I met this new family, I’m not sure if it will lead to a lasting friendship or anything more than friendly acquaintances, but I do know that we will always make pot pies in the Cat House. 

Cat’s Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie
A Cat’s Pajamas Original Concoction

1 T butter
1 T olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cut in 1/2″ pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, halved then sliced 1/2″ 
2 ribs celery, halved then sliced 1/2″
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2″ pieces
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2″ pieces 
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
Salt and pepper
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried thyme
4 c chicken broth
1 c 1% milk
2 T cornstarch 
8 sheets phyllo dough
Butter flavored non-stick spray (genius!)

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat.  Add chicken pieces and brown.  Stir in remaining vegetables with the exception of green beans (they really need a little crunch for me).  Season with salt and pepper, add basil and thyme.  Cook over medium high heat for about 2 minutes until vegetables just start to soften.

Add chicken broth, bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, just until potatoes and squash have cooked through.  In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and milk.  Stir into chicken and vegetable mixture.  Cook for about 2 minutes until thickened (add a little more cornstarch/milk if needed).

Ladle the chicken and vegetable mixture into 4 individual serving bowls (or a medium sized casserole dish), set aside.

Lay out a single layer of phyllo dough and spray lightly with butter flavored non-stick spray.*  Lay another piece of phyllo dough on top of that, spray with non-stick spray again, then repeat with 2 more pieces of phyllo dough until there are 4 sheets together.  Cut the phyllo dough in half so you have two slightly rectangular squares.  Lay one squarish piece on top of one of the bowls and tuck in.  Repeat with remaining bowls and 4 sheets of phyllo dough.  If desired, garnish the dough with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until phyllo has lightly browned.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

*I’ve tried several different brands of butter flavored non-stick spray for phyllo purposes.  PAM has the best flavor in my opinion.  Using the butter PAM cuts down considerably on calories, as you are skipping the melted butter.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2008 07:14

    Too funny. These look great! I’m sure the original pot pies were beautiful too. It’s always fun to meet new people. You are very brave to attempt a new recipe on unknown guests. I think the fact that everyone finished theirs is a testament to how great they must have tasted!

  2. October 23, 2008 07:47

    Way to go.

    I like your version.

  3. October 23, 2008 08:18

    Yours looks beautiful, just beautiful! I’m glad you found another buddy, and really, it’s all about feeding your family so no worries over the photo. I’ve got to catch up on your post. I’ve been sharing a computer this week with my husband. It’s making me crazy!

  4. October 23, 2008 08:21

    OH, and I forgot to write that I am still planning to make your chicken only I forgot to buy the bamboo shoots. GRRR! Now I have to head back to the store. Also, for the feta, just use parmesan.

  5. October 23, 2008 08:24

    Way to go…making the pot pies twice! I haven’t even made mine once yet…they’re on the menu for this weekend. Too much to cook on a work night. Love your version. Hopefully you are able to build a friendship…new friendships keep life interesting.

  6. October 23, 2008 09:22

    …….hungry now. geesh Cat…..

    Glad you had a successful evening even if The Husband chowed down your chow….not sure how he mistook “take a picture” for “EAT MY DINNER” he must really have been hungry to mistake the two….lol….tell him to take out the earplugs!!!!

    Recipe sounds wonderful…by the way the one I tried the other night was a huge hit, although I seriously over made it and they will be having it tonight (the kids at least) again while mr. wonderful and I head out to a 2500.00 a plate dinner for some thing or other….I’m sure my dinner (your recipe) will be better then what we are about to be subjected to, expensive or not, the food usually sucks at these things (Oh and we did not pay for it, we got invited to it, someone else is footing the bill, nice eh?)

    Phyllo dough freaks me out…can’t I just use Pilsbury (ducking out of the way of whatever you are throwing at me 😀 )

  7. October 23, 2008 09:33

    Sounds like you had a lovely evening! Glad you were able to meet up with another military wife. Yours look very veggie rich!

  8. October 23, 2008 12:43

    You are brave to try a new recipe on company. But ,could you expect anything but success from Ina? Good story.

  9. October 23, 2008 14:17

    Impressed you made it twice. The real time saver is the phyllo. Sorry your husband ate yours though 🙂

  10. October 23, 2008 17:25

    I just want to thank you for the great job you are doing for our men and women overseas. One of your teams has just taken my son Rian. It breaks my heart,but finally with alittle joy to see there are still people out there that care!
    Brenda

  11. October 23, 2008 17:52

    Its sounds like you guys had a great time even though you had some problems with the picture! (That always happens at my house!) Your lightened up version looks wonderful. Great job Cat!

  12. October 23, 2008 20:17

    Wow, your lightened up version sounds wonderful to me — I am so much more likely to come find your recipe next time I want to make a pot pie than I am to unwrap a couple of sticks of butter like Ina tells me to. So funny about the pictures — I can never remember to take pictures of my blog dishes when I have company over. Or if I remember, I can’t quite bring myself to break out the camera and start snapping. Your pot pie looks fantastic! Sounds like you all had a fun evening!

  13. October 23, 2008 21:42

    The vegetables are beautiful and I love the combo you used!

  14. October 24, 2008 04:07

    The veggies in your version look so beautiful–great job in lightening it up and making it twice too–you get bonus points for that! 😉

  15. October 24, 2008 06:02

    That’s too funny about your hubby eating your dinner; that’s something mine would do too 🙂
    Your pot pie sounds delicious- I def tried to lighten mine up as well and used very similar spices as you. I have yet to work with phillo though…I need to get on that, it’s just a healthy alternative!

  16. October 24, 2008 17:45

    Way to make it your own! I had the opposite picture problem, on reviewing them the next day I was sorry that I didn’t take any shots of it opened up or partly gone so the insides could be seen.
    The great thing about this recipe was the lattitude for play and personal taste – you did a great job making it your own!

  17. October 24, 2008 21:42

    Love that you lightned it up. It is a great recipe. Perfect for company or Sunday supper. I’ll be trying it again, maybe your version.

  18. October 25, 2008 11:35

    i love your rendition of the pie! i haven’t made it yet, but i do plan to add some chicken!!! glad you found some new friends!

  19. October 25, 2008 20:58

    The phyllo dough was a great choice. And I love the way you tweaked the recipe to make it more “Inalike” which made me wonder… more butter?…more cream? I would love for Ina to make a “light” cookbook. She’s so talented, I’m sure it would have great recipes!

  20. October 26, 2008 07:01

    I keep forgetting the photos too – I am driving the family mad. Obviously your pie was delicious to have disappeared so fast!

  21. October 26, 2008 15:48

    I am so glad that your “new friends” enjoyed great company and a wonderful meal! Looks like it not only was a success the first time but the second! Great job, we would love to eat dinner with you anytime!!

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