I am exhausted. I feel like I have no right to be so tired. It wasn’t me who broke my leg. It’s not me who has had to learn to negotiate a world of ice and stairs on crutches in February. Nor is it me who is still waiting to get a cast.
But it is me (and S.) who drives to the doctor appointments, faces loads of laundry, monitors pain meds, calls the insurance company to inquire which doctors and treatments are covered, emails teachers at school to say that R. will not be in yet again, all while juggling work, a second teenager, and keeping the house clutter-free for someone with mobility issues. I need a nap simply for having written that run-on sentence.
Instead of a nap (which I’ve lost the ability to do, more’s the pitty) the other day I pulled a June Cleaver. On went a beaded necklace (pearls seemed a bit much) and a smack of mocha rouge lipstick. Amazing how those two things make you feel like you can tackle anything. Including grocery shopping and rearranging the furniture so the house is even more stream lined for navigation by crutches.
As I was cruising the isles of Whole Foods I kept thinking of recipes I want to post and putting the ingredients into my cart–more butternut squash for the Cummington Creamery’s Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Shepherd’s Pie, steel cut oats, whipping cream and dried fruit for Oatmeal Sundaes, another gallon of milk for Orgeat. Mostly though I was craving roast chicken. It is my go-to comfort food. Mostly because roast chicken in our house is accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, carrots all of the necessary ingredients needed for Chicken Pot Pie.
I’m not going into the minute details of how to roast a chicken. If you are old enough to read this blog you are old enough to plunk two chickens on top of a liberal bed of onions and carrots (having thrown their peelings, tips and tails into a pot for stock), sprinkle the chickens liberally with thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil and roast until the skin is golden and crisp and the legs are done, basting here and there. Why two chickens to feed a family of four? Because dear reader, one chicken is only enough for dinner, a sandwich or two and stock, while two chickens are enough for the aforementioned plus a Chicken Pot Pie. The oven is already on so why not make two?
While you are roasting your two chickens pretend that you are cooking for 12 not 4 and increase all the other dishes accordingly. That way you’ll have plenty of leftovers. I admit to getting somewhat lazy with some of my cooking as I get older. I used to make chicken pot pie with a crust, and many of those crusts were true works of art. For the last decade or so my chicken pot pie has morphed into a chicken pot pie/shepherds pie with a mashed potato topping instead of a crust. Quite delicious but not text book CPP. What follows isn’t so much a recipe as a guide to putting together a huge helping of comfort food.
Chicken Pot Pie
4-6 cups chicken meat, pulled or cut off roast chicken
1 – 2 cups leftover cooked carrots
1/2 – 1 cup leftover cooked green beans
3-4 cups leftover gravy
3/4 – 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 – 1 cup frozen corn
4-6 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Enjoy and be comforted.