Comfort Food and Joy

Goodbye, 2013. Hello, 2014!

As we begin the Year of the Horse, Chris and I are planning to do our best to be more horselike, i.e., more carefree and a little wild. We also hope to fill the next 12 months with even more travel and food adventures. And of course, there will be lots of joy. 

And while it's time to look forward to a brand-new year, I can't help but reflect a bit on the old one. 2013 was definitely the Year of the Snake. Work was crazy busy, the weather was gross, friends moved away, and we lost some dear ones. Chris and I lived it up, took some fun road trips, saw some great concerts/theatre, and celebrated ten blissful years of marriage with an unforgettable trip to Paris (the food!), yet I will only think of 2013 as the year we lost "the boys." 

But, it seems like we're not the only ones who are happy for 2013 to end, so I think it's time for a bit of comfort food to round out the year, don't you? And for me, that means one thing: Chicken Pot Pie. 

From scratch.

We roasted a gorgeous small chicken in our rotisserie oven for dinner a few nights ago, and I made stock with the leftover bones and some celery, carrots and onion. 

The leftover chicken was so moist and lovely, and I had some beautiful organic carrots, green beans and broccoli hanging around, so I couldn't help but make a pot pie! 

I chopped up the vegetables and shredded the chicken. (Look at the color!)

Then, I melted equal parts butter and flour in a medium-sized pot and cooked the roux until it turned into a golden paste, then gently whisked in some of my homemade stock and some half and half. I seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of Herbes de Provence, and cooked (stirring every so often) until it was thick enough to coat the back of my spoon.

Then, in went the veggies and chicken.

In true Gourmess fashion, just as I scooped the mixture into four mini pie dishes, I realized I didn't have enough butter left to make a quick pastry dough to top them. So, I scrounged around and made a dough out of olive oil, Greek yogurt, flour, and a heaping tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. After chilling in the fridge for a bit, it turned out pretty nice.

I topped each of the pies with the dough and baked until bubbly and golden brown.

I even had enough dough leftover to make a tart with roasted kale, butternut squash and fresh ricotta. (Delish!)

Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours much comfort food and joy in 2014!