When I was growing up, harvest was the time of year when our whole family pitched in to bring in the crop. Every family member had a job, whether it was driving the combine, hauling grain to town with the trucks or preparing meals. With custom baling in the mix, “harvest season” for us started in May with the first cutting of hay and didn’t conclude until the last bit of cornstalks were baled up for customers in late November.
Preparing field meals was a shared responsibility, and we each had our specialties. Aunt Janelle made the best scalloped potatoes; Mom made the best potato soup, and somebody always had a pot roast in the crock pot. My favorite meal to make was homemade Chicken Pot Pies. Since the crew never seemed move at the same pace, or be at the same end of the field at the same time, these pies were perfect. Each person had their own pie and they kept warm waiting for the tractor to come back around. These little pot pies contain meat and potatoes all in one dish – perfect for our crew!
Now that I married into a farm family, I’m continuing the tradition of taking chicken pot pie to the field. I’m always looking for new ideas, too. Do you have a favorite field recipe you can share with me?
Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 6 tablespoons flour
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup milk
• 2 cups diced potatoes, blanched
• 1 cup diced carrots, blanched
• 1 cup sweet peas
• 2 cups shredded chicken, cooked
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
• Pie Crust
• Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and celery and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flour and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes for a blond roux. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the liquid up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in the half and half and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peas and chicken. Mix the filling thoroughly. Line the baking pan with one of the crusts. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Place the top crust on top of the filling. Carefully tuck the overlapping crust into the pan, forming a thick edge. Crimp the edges of the pan and place on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crispy.
Cook’s Note: This recipe is enough for a 9X9 inch pan, but I separate into three to four ramekins per batch so each person on the crew can have their own pie. These are bigger portions for hard working men.