Listen closely. The rustle of dry leaves, that slight chill in the air, your beloved pumpkin spiced latte. They're all signs that fall is coming, bringing with it a slew of holiday parties, from housewarmings to Thanksgiving soirees. And while I love me a good party, I am not a fan of this new fangled party food. Since when did a bowl of wasabi peas and cocktails constitute "food?" At the last soiree we attended, the hubster had to nudge me because apparently, I was eating the aforementioned wasabi peas as a meal. Well, forgive me. It was a 6 p.m. party and in my world, 6 p.m. is dinner time. If you're going to have a party at 6 p.m., even if it's an appetizers only party, your appetizers have to be something more substantial than wasabi peas. Or you need to have a lot of wasabi peas on hand because I'm going to eat those little buggers like a meal. And the irony of it all? I don't even like wasabi peas.
So what constitutes substantial party food for a lovely fall soiree? Little cups of butternut squash soup. A roasted vegetable tart. Smoked turkey and cranberry jelly on brioche rounds. Mini chicken pot pie. Wait, chicken pot pie? How would one serve this perfect fall meal at a party without dripping sauce and delicious bit of chicken and vegetables all over the place?
I was thoroughly perplexed. And then, like an omen, Nature's Pride announced an opportunity to come up with a party bite using one of their breads. It was like I was being guided to somehow create a mini chicken pot pie party bite to ease the plight of hungry, partygoers everywhere. Saturday, I toasted and buttered a slice of delicious Nature's Pride Potato bread and ate it while contemplating how I was going to create the perfect mini chicken pot pie. Then, I ate another slice of toasted, buttered bread because well, contemplating is hard work.
The plan was to use the bread like a crust. I cut cute little bread circles, glared at the hubster to stop eating the bread circles, brushed the outside and the edges with butter, and placed them inside a muffin pan (like cupcake liners). I baked the bread cups and took 'em out when they were golden brown and perfectly crunchy. Again, I glared at the hubster to stop eating the bread cups. I concocted a delicious chicken pot pie filling with tender vegetables and seasoned chicken and placed a dollop of the mixture in each of the bread cups. Garnished with chives. Behold, mini chicken pot pies.
And after the first bite, I knew I wasn't going to be making a meal out of wasabi peas again. I'd hit upon the perfect party bite. These mini chicken pot pies are a delicious contradiction. Delicate yet substantial. Tiny yet filling. Delicious yet, well delicious. Now if I could figure out how to create a mashed potatoes and gravy party bite, life would be perfect.
This post is a submission to the Nature's Pride competition for Foodbuzz Festival. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for a free Nature's Pride product.
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup half and half
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 loaf Nature's Pride Potato Bread
Melt 1 tablespoon butter and saute onions until translucent Add remaining vegetables and saute until soft. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle in flour. Whisk roux until medium brown. Add chicken stock, whisking continuously until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Add cream. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add chicken and vegetable mixture and mix.
Cut crusts off bread. Flatten bread squares with rolling pin. Use circular cookie cutter to cut bread rounds. Spray mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place bread circles in muffin tin (using the bread circles like a cupcake liner). Bake at 275 for 25-30 minutes until bread cups are golden brown.
Remove bread cups from oven and cool completely.
Fill each bread cup with chicken and vegetable mixture. Top with chopped chives or parsley.
Yields approximately 12 mini pot pies.