There are three separate segments in preparation:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (only I did one, plus two thighs)
1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil (only I used vegetable oil)
1 cup peeled and diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup finely sliced portabello mushrooms (optional) [Beloved Husband doesn't like these, so we added diced, slightly boiled, potatoes - adjust veggies for your family's tastes.]
2/3 cup frozen peas
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 teaspoon soy sauce [Classy omitted this and the tomato paste - we included and it was good!]
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic granules (use 1/2 tsp if you prefer a slightly stronger garlic flavor)
1/4 cup butter, cold and diced into small cubes
2 oz. finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup packed) (Didn't have any, so used a combination with Asiago)
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
Now -- the putting it all together does work best in this order given by Classy:
- Place chicken in a slow cooker, pour chicken broth over chicken. Cover with lid and cook on low heat about 5 - 6 hours until chicken is cooked through. [Of course, if you don't have that much time, do as I did and boil the chicken in the chicken broth while preparing the veggies. Worked fine.]
- Remove chicken, dice and set aside.
- Strain broth from slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and reserve broth (if you don't have a fine mesh strainer just try to remove the pieces of fat).
- Preheat oven to 450 degree.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder and optional cayenne pepper. [You know mine didn't have this pepper!]
- Using your finger tips, cut butter into mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Pour in heavy cream and mix just until combine.
- Break and drop mixture into 1 - 2-inch pieces onto a Silpat lined baking dish. [I used our sheet cake pan and it worked just fine - nothing stuck. Silpat just isn't in my budget right now.]
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add diced carrots, onion and celery.
- Saute vegetables, stirring occasionally until lightly golden and tender, about 5 - 6 minutes.
- Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium, melt butter in saucepan (I like to brown it a bit for and extra layer of flavor), then add in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 20 seconds (it will be very thick).
- While stirring, slowly add in milk followed by reserved chicken broth, lemon juice, tomato paste, soy sauce, parsley, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring mixture just to a boil, then slightly reduce heat and allow to cook about 1 minute longer until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Remove sauce from heat and add sauteed vegetables, frozen peas and diced chicken to sauce, then toss to evenly coat. [Don't forget your choice of mushrooms or potatoes or ...]
- Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and sprinkle with baked crumble topping (Classy said hers: fit perfectly in my pie dish but if yours is coming close to the top edge you may want to sit it on top of a cookie sheet to prevent spills in your oven) [Mine had a few crumbles left over, so I treated myself to a taste before putting in the oven.]
- Bake in 400 degree oven until nicely golden about 12 - 14 minutes. Serve warm.
It doesn't take nearly as long as it sounds, no 'processed' canned goods - all fresh ingredients (well, except for those frozen peas) - and it was very, very good. Add a salad, some fruit for dessert and you're done.