OK, for all you foodies out there, here is one of my inspirations. I created it a few nights ago, and my family has been raving about it since. This works best if you already have left-over cooked chicken, but you can bake the chicken breasts right before you make this, if you have time. The sweetness of the cranberries combined with the leek give a lighter taste to this traditionally hearty meal. The Bisquick topping adds texture, as well as saving time.
(Makes 2 chicken pies; serves 8-10)
2 T butter
1 large, fresh whole leek, chopped (about 2-1/2 cups)
half of a medium head of celery (about 6 stalks)
¼ c olive oil
1 can chicken broth (15 oz)
½ cup flour
¾ cup sour cream
5 cooked skinless, boneless chicken half-breasts, chopped into half-inch cubes
¼ to 1/3 cup dried cranberries (chopped roughly into halves)
2/3 c grated carrots, spinach, or other leftover veggies
8 oz. frozen mixed vegetables or succotash
1 ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (best when crushed in a mortar & pestle)
salt and pepper to taste
¼ c parsley (optional)
2 cups of Bisquick mix,
2 large eggs
1-3/4 c milk
Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high. Add the butter and as it begins to melt, add the chopped leeks and let them start to soften. Add the olive oil and celery, stirring often. After the celery turns bright green, add the chicken broth, and let it begin to simmer (about 1 minute). Next, add the flour and stir until absorbed. Then, one at a time, add the sour cream, chicken, dried cranberries, leftover vegetables, and frozen mixed vegetables, stirring after each is added. Season with the fennel seed, salt and pepper; let it simmer on medium for a few minutes on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped parsley if desired.
While the mixture is simmering, in a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick, milk, and eggs, and stir until mixed and smooth. Transfer the contents of the skillet into two medium casserole pans. Pour half of the topping over each, and bake uncovered on separate oven racks at 350 degrees F and check after 20-30 minutes. When the topping is golden brown and the liquid is bubbling, remove the casseroles and allow to cool for 20 minutes or more.