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Today there was a blizzard. It started in the morning as a dreary drizzle, then the water began to freeze, and slowly, large, fat fluffs of snow began to swirl through the sky in a crazy dance. 
Today we celebrated the life of one of the most wonderful women I have ever known - my Aunt Becky.  Outside, while we navigated the icy roads to the service, the blizzard was slushy and dangerous and messy, but once we got inside the church, the snow falling outside seemed beautiful, harmless. 
Isn't that just the way life goes? At first, everything that hurts seems dangerous and messy.  It feels like your life is the blizzard and you're driving right through the middle of it without snow tires.  But then, once you get through the worst of it, you can look outside the window and see the beauty of it, even while knowing that just a short while ago it scared the bajeepers out of you. 
Today was a day that hurt my heart.  It also made my heart laugh, though. Saying goodbye to someone you love is one of those rare things that can break your heart and fill you with joy at the same time.  My Aunt Becky - she is in a place more beautiful and perfect than we could ever imagine. And that brings me great joy and peace.  But at the same time, this place feels a little less beautiful without her in it.  
With a heart as tired and torn as mine, there was nothing more comforting than to eat chicken pot pie tonight. 
Also, it didn't hurt that it was a one-pot-wonder, either. 
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I have been making this chicken pot pie ever since Ethan and I got married, tweaking it a little each time.  A dash more oregano here, a fresh garden veggie thrown in there.   And after two and a half years, I think I've almost gotten it just right. 
It has an abundance of colorful veggies - whatever I can find in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry - and lots of chunky white chicken.  The chicken broth whisked with flour and parmesan and simmered over low heat creates a gorgeously smooth, creamy sauce.  And the best part is the biscuit layer baked on top and sprinkled with fresh parsley.  Can you say, "Comfort food?!" 
It is ready within about 30 minutes and you only dirty one dish to do it. 
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I am convinced God gave us chicken pot pie for days like these.  After a long day of being out in the middle of the blizzard, He invites us to come inside and seek comfort at the table. He invites us to look through the window and see the blizzard no longer as messy, dangerous slush, but as the beautiful, potential stuff of snow angels and snow ball fights.  
And that's exactly the way Aunt Becky would want it.

Love well and eat well,
Deidre


P.s. - to make this dish Vegan, omit the chicken. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  Swap out the milk for almond or coconut milk, and use a soy-based butter in place of the regular butter.  The parmesan cheese can be left out, or swapped out for a cheese alternative.  I have made this pot pie vegan, and it was even husband-approved!  And he is very much a carnivore. 
Recipe for Creamy Chicken One-Pot Pie
Adapted from Simple Kitchen 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • crushed black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups vegetables, frozen or fresh or canned (I have used carrots, corn, peas, green beans, broccoli - all are delightful!)
  • 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

For the biscuits: 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook chicken until browned, and give it a dash of salt and pepper as you turn it over to cook the other side.  It will take about 2 minutes on each side. 
  3. Whisk flour into chicken, then add chicken broth as you continue to combine.  Whisk until smooth, then add veggies and cheese. Stir to combine well, then allow mixture to come to a boil.  Let it simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until all veggies are tender.  Stir occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together dry ingredients for the biscuits in a large bowl.  Stir in butter and milk.
  5. With a tablespoon, drop scoops of biscuit dough on top of the pot pie mixture. Place the dutch oven on a cookie sheet with raised edges and bake uncovered in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and no longer sticky. 
  6. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before eating!
 


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