And winter goes on....

Thursday, January 27, 2011
I can handle the cold. Even the really cold. After all, I lived in Minnesota for a very long time. January is cold. It is supposed to be. The snow blankets the gardens and everything is in it's frozen rest period. The kettle is always on the stove at the ready for hot drinks, quilts are stacked and within reach and comfort foods show up on the menu more than other times of the year.

All that said, days like today REALLY make me long for spring. The sun shining brightly and although the temperature is still frigid there is the promise of nearing 50° by the end of the week. I really want to embrace each season for what it has to offer but I find myself longing for winter to end and spring to get here. Since my longing will only make me feel discontented and doesn't bring spring any faster, I thought I'd sit with my seed catalogs and start planning what I want to order. That, and I pulled a bag of last years raspberries out of the freezer to make a sweet, tea treat. Winter will continue and spring will come.....eventually.

To continue my embrace of winter (as I dream of spring), there is a new (to me) version of the classic comfort food Chicken Pot Pie on the menu. I am excited to try this because it gives me an excuse to visit my favorite Back Alley Bakery for a loaf of sourdough bread. That all speaks comfort to me.

Photo Credit: Hy-Vee Seasons January 2011

Cobblestone Chicken Pot Pie
(Printable Version)

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium leeks, cut in half and sliced
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c. half-and-half
3 c. diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 c. frozen peas
2 tbsp dry white wine or chicken broth
2 c. 1/2-inch sourdough bread cubes
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook leeks, mushrooms, celery and red bell pepper until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in flour, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in broth and half-and-half. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas and wine. Spoon into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish. Toss bread cubes with Parmesan cheese and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle evenly on top of casserole. Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F, until casserole is bubbly around edges and bread cubes are golden. Serves 6.

Sharing at Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Potluck Sunday.


  1. Kathleen said...:

    I am with you Gail. I can take the cold, but another 16 in of snow last night with more to come Tues. has me wishing for April!
    The pie looks delicious. We are still eating the cupcakes you made me make! LOL I had planned to give them away, but we can't get out!

  1. Faith said...:

    looking WARM AND COMFORTING...MMMM.....

  1. Rita T. said...:

    This dish is something my husband would really love. He loves all things meaty.

  1. thecountrycook said...:

    I like the addition of red bell pepper and sourdough bread. It seems like a nice combination of flavors. I love chicken pot pie!

  1. Megan Hassen said...:

    This looks delicious - perfect for a cold day! I love your music!

  1. Miz Helen said...:

    Hi Gail,
    There is nothing like a great Chicken Pot Pie to warm the heart and the tummy on a cold winters day. Your Chicken Pot Pie looks delicious and I really want to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday. You have a great week end and please come back!

  1. Yummy good food ;) :) :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  1. I've been looking for a good Chicken Pot pie recipe, thanks Gail!

  1. Kim McCallie said...:

    This looks delicious! Now, I've got to come up with something for dinner here.

  1. Patty Sumner said...:

    I too, find myself wishing for Spring. I also am finding myself seeking out "comfort" food recipes. Thanks for the looks yummy. Meanwhile, I guess we will just have to curl up and enjoy our gardening books and the food and the hot drinks. Blessings!

  1. Debbie said...:

    Oh gracious YES. I'm longing for spring, and I live in Georgia where we don't have the right to complain about cold. I'm just ready for some sunshine and flowers.

    But now, that chicken pot pie would definitely make the winter more bearable. I could half it for just the two of us. (Can't have left overs. I EAT them for no good reason. sigh.)

  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    I am weary of the grey skies but we do not have the very bitter cold in Georgia. The Chicken pie looks divine. I have not made one in twenty years.

  1. You know I'm already waving the winter white flag! This looks amazing, love pot pies and the bread on top is a nice twist:@)

  1. We haven't had much snow and I am not waving the white flag. I miss it so! I have never seen a pot pie with a bread cube crust and it is a refreshing take, and easierto make than pastry, on pot pie. Gail, would love to know about the photo on your header and the signficance of and relationship of it to the name of your blog. Joni

  1. Yum! Yum! Yum! Is that always what I say when I leave a comment on your blog? I have not started dinner yet because Baby Bee is at dance classes until 7 PM tonight and you are making me want to change my menu plan. I think this will go on my menu for Sunday evening. We always have my mom over for dinner and I always try to serve some wonderful comfort food. Thank you Gail!

  1. I feel so guilty sometimes when I think so much of the country is freezing and my daughter wore shorts today. We have had a spell of warm weather but I am ready for it to rain again. Our winter is short so I like to nest when it gets cool. Your right though we have to grow where we are planted. SoCal has a lot of faults but the weather is not one of them so I will enjoy it. Your cupcake bouquet is so gorgeous. Just wanted to tell you.

  1. I think it is within every living thing God created to endure winter with the faith and hope that Spring will come with life anew. Seed catalogs always renew faith and hope, don't they???? Thanks for visiting my blog today, and for leaving your sweet comments!!!! And I LOVE the chicken pot pie recipe. Wonderful comfort food with great memories of childhood!!!!!!

  1. Pattie T. said...:

    This looks like a great recipe. I love the bread cubes (cobblestones) on top. Most unique. I'm going to try this.

  1. Marlis said...:

    I'll be thinking of you! It will be 70 this afternoon with a chance of snow early next week.. This looks like a super recipe. I love sourdough bread, now i'm hungry.. This would be a perfect Sunday dinner!

  1. bj said...:

    I. AM. HUNGRY.....

  1. This recipe sounds really good with leeks and wine! There is nothing like chicken pot pie to comfort you in January, or February, or March! Living in Wisconsin we're not quite as cold as you but it's not great either.

  1. What I find is that I'm old enough now that I don't want to "wish my life away" by dwelling on one season ending and the next coming. With that said, winter has always been hard for me. Like you, I can stand the cold...sort of, what really bothers me is the lack of sunshine. It really ruins how I feel and my level of joy...when the sun shines, my day is so improved. Today...we finally have sunshine!

    The recipe sounds delicious...comfort food is good.

  1. Amy said...:

    This is a lovely and delicious looking chicken pot pie! So perfect for the cold days! Thanks for sharing. Now, I know what to make on the weekend.

  1. Lynn said...:

    Today we have sunshine in Western New York and it's glorious. It's those gray, cold, icy days that are so hard to take. I thoroughly understand your longing for spring. Me too! But a hearty chicken pot pie is a good distraction and so comforting. Yours looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing and for visiting me at Cottage and Creek. I'm your newest follower and I look forward to reading more!

  1. Tina said...:

    Your Chicken Pot Pie looks pretty yummy! Perfect comfort food! (did you submit this to GBP? LOL)
    It was 72* here in S. Arkansas yesterday. I had all my windows open and my house got CLEAN! The fresh air and citrus scented candles took over the winters musty today is in the 50's, gloomy with a chance of thunderstorms!
    The one super nice day spoiled I'm ready for Spring!!

  1. Michelle said...:

    Fantastic. Can't wait to make this and the photo is beautiful!

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