Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Weekend :: Christmas Knits and Cosy comfort food :: Chicken pot pie

"  ...The chill creeps in, 
    whispers suggestions: 
    it's time to go in..."            
Hannah Emadian, 2015, Descending Days : A Separate World.

A cosy autumn weekend, a copy of  an earlier one. It felt like Christmas, knitting first stocking fillers, using fun yarn from here for someone who can't wear wool. Old fashioned land army girl style mittens attached with string. I'm using this simple pattern. But there will be pompoms. Ahmad and Hannah were like bookends, one reading, one writing. I dawdled but eventually finished reading my comfy Inspector Gamache murder mystery. Then picked up John Grisham's, A Painted House and burrowed into 1950's rural Arkansas cotton picking.

We wrapped up for autumn walks and came home with vintage finds. Hungry for Chicken pot pie, apple strudel and the first fire of the season. We celebrated another first, Hannah's first published article; a review of an art installation in Bristol. Then chilled with Nina Simone and Bach. The soundtrack for a relaxed weekend, punctuated by conversation, Scandinavian Murder, and a collaboration stitched together by musical souls. Try to catch this if you can (the whole episode four not just this trailer) It will melt your heart...Yey for Agnes...she's awesome...(Hannah too...)

Chicken pot pie


  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Four small, or one large oven proof pie dishes
  • Wooden spoon
  • Brush, to egg-wash the pie
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp knife
  • Sieve or sifter
  • Baking bowl
  • Baking tray

Ingredients for four people:

  • Four chicken portions with the skin removed
  • Two smallish leeks,peeled washed well, and finely sliced
  • Four banana shallots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • One clove of garlic, peeled and crushed or chopped finely
  • Two carrots, washed and finely sliced
  • Four small waxy potatoes, washed and cut into 1cm slices
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Fresh herbs of choice. I used rosemary and thyme. Sage works well with chicken too.
  • About a litre of hot stock 
  • Olive oil or alternative 
For the pie crust:
  • Six ounces of strong flour (or favourite) plus a little extra for rolling out
  • One teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • Three ounces of chilled butter or non-dairy alternative
  • One beaten egg, plus a little milk
  1. Pour a little olive oil into a heavy bottom pan. Heat up the oil and then add the chicken portions, browning slightly. Take them out and reserve for a little later.
  2. Place the sliced leeks into the pan and soften.
  3. Add the shallots and cook a little further. 
  4. Add the sliced carrots and do the same. 
  5. Return the chicken to the pan along with the herbs and potatoes and season. Taking into account how salty the stock is.
  6. Pour over the stock. Turn up the heat to ensure the stock is bubbling and then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables and chicken are tender and the stock has reduced to a thick and tasty gravy. This should take about thirty to forty minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and leave to cool whilst making the pastry.
Make the pie crust:
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.
  2. Cut up the chilled butter and fold it into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the salt if using and stir well.
  4. Add most of the egg and combine the crumb mixture until it forms a soft but firm dough. Form this into a rough ball shape and wrap in baking parchment. Chill in the fridge for half an hour or so. 
  5. When ready to make the pie heat up the oven to 180/200c 
  6. Dust your work surface with a little flour and rolling pin and cut the dough ball into quarters.
  7. Form each quarter into a rough ball/egg shape depending on the dish and roll until a couple of centimetres (about an inch)larger. Wet the lip of the dish with a little of the egg/milk mixture and then carefully place the pastry over the dish. Press the edges firmly. Cut any excess and decorate if you like.
  8. Paint with the egg wash. 
  9. Do the same for all four pies. Place on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven.
  10. Cook for about twenty minutes to half an hour until the pastry is golden brown and the contents piping hot. 
Lovely served with lots of seasonal greens or Hannah's colourful coleslaw that she makes for us. Perfect comfort tray food to eat in front of the fire after a bit of autumnal exploration.

Hannah's colourful coleslaw


  • About a quarter of a medium sized red cabbage
  • About the same amount of white cabbage
  • Half a red onion
  • Two medium sized carrots
  • One green apple
  • A little mayonnaise
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Shred all cabbage very finely.
  2. Slice the onion as finely as possible.
  3. Grate the green apple and carrot.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
  5. Season lightly.
  6. Put a couple of blobs of mayonnaise on top and dress the salad. You may like to add a little natural yoghurt with the mayonnaise for a slightly lighter dressing. 

I'm linking here and here today...
and to my ravelry page

cosy days...



  1. you look cold while you are standing outside with the wind whipping about. Congrats to Hannah!! Love the bicycle photo, so pretty. Once again i feel like I'm walking around with you at your house when I visit your blog :)

    1. I couldn't keep my hair out of my face it was blowing all over the place. I'm so proud of Hannah. The day that it was published she was offered another job. She's taking some time off to do a couple of small jobs whilst writing as much as she can before carrying on with her studies. It it's a shame that you can't pop in for a coffee.

    2. Thanks for the compliment on the bicycle photo. It's a bit out of focus but I love the combination of the bike and the onion seed head.

  2. This is my kind of nippy fall weather!!! I love wandering around on these kind of days!!! (Once again---I have serious--SERIOUS!!!---windowsill envy!!! AHHH, those deep window sills!) Love the peeks around your home.

    1. It's gorgeous today Steph. I've just come in from digging the veg patch. It's mild with a nice cool breeze. Thanks Steph. Those window sills are so useful, they make great shelves and you can sit comfortably in one with the window open, reading a book...all I need is the time to do so and I'll be there...

  3. pretty yarn, i have begun thinking about christmas as well!!! i like your pot pie recipe (no peas) i have a thing about peas, from childhood!!! and it has potatoes, my favorite!!!!

    1. I know it will soon be here. I was pleased with the inexpensive too. The good thing with the recipe is that you can just add or take away vegetables to suit your taste. Never thought about peas...I love them...that would be good. Whoops, sorry1 Now you've got me wondering about your childhood trauma...Hope it wasn't too horrific.
      Thanks for popping by Debbie.

  4. Lovely photos, and inspiration for dinner tonight- thank you!!!

    1. Thank you. I hope you have go it's really tasty. Now my husband wants me to put pastry tops on everything!

  5. We have something in common - the wind! Love seeing you Debby. You've painted such a cozy pictures of home life. I've enjoyed it immensely. Congratulations to Hannah! You must be very proud.


    1. The weather is really mild today but still windy. I've been sweeping all the leaves up and collecting kindling and digging up potatoes from the vegetable patch. Such happy things to do. Thank you for the congratulations. She keeps writing and writing all the time. It's so good that someone just published her and on the same day someone else her to write for them.
      Have a fruitful week.