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.