Food: Dinner for when you ‘can’t even’

It’s a New Year and I’m already exhausted (mostly because I was galavanting about the tri-state area at the end of 2017). There are days. And then there are days when you feel like life is dragging you kicking and screaming through the week as you try to cling to the previous weekend (or New Year’s bash) like an otter with a rock.

On those days when you’re too tired or just too exhausted (or as my running internal monologue likes to put it, you “can’t even”) to deal with your bursting weekly schedule and your newly formed gym regimen, you need comfort food. Of course, it’s a new year and you’re trying to be a better you and a healthier you, so you can’t justify eating your weight in macaroni and cheese (even though it can be tempting). So what can you make that’s healthy but will make it feel like your insides are draped in a fuzzy blanket?

Well, friends, let me introduce you to this lovely dish, a lazy spin on a cozy classic: skillet chicken pot pie.

This dish is great because it takes very little effort. Just cut up the ingredients, dump them in the skillet, stir and then toss it in the oven while you dig out your favorite pair of oversized sweats and fuzzy socks (I’m of the opinion that there’s no such thing as having a sweater that’s too big). Now, this is easy and pretty mindless to make. Admittedly, it has a lot of ingredients but seriously, I made it without a problem — and I live off of cereal. And because it will have only a crusty top and is loaded with veggies, you don’t have to feel guilty about silly things like carbs or bread or how many jumping jacks will burn off the “pie” for those who have made resolutions to be healthier.

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon thyme

2 minced garlic cloves

1 chopped onion

2 chopped carrots

2 chopped celery stalks

salt

black pepper

¼ cup flour

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup heavy cream

2 chicken breasts, cubed (tenderloins work as well)

1 cup peas

2 tablespoons parsley

1 package biscuits

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating up, place the skillet on medium heat over the stove with the oil. Add the thyme, garlic (you can buy minced garlic in a jar), onion, carrots and celery to the skillet and stir for five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gradually stir in the flour to absorb the excess juices. Stir in broth (low-sodium is fine) and heavy cream until the mixture is smooth. Add the chicken, peas and parsley. Stir for five more minutes before adding the biscuits to the skillet and brushing them with an egg wash (beat the egg with the water to make egg wash). By now the oven should be hot. Put the skillet in the oven until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbling (roughly 20 minutes). Take it out of the oven and serve.

Note: Put a potholder or dishrag over the skillet’s handle after you take it out of the oven, so you don’t accidentally burn yourself while scooping food onto the plate. If you want to add more vegetables or if you hate peas (they’re the worst), you can add corn and broccoli to the dish.