ORIGINAL ENTREÉS: CHICKEN POT PIE Thursday, November 17, 2011

Good news for the legions once known as the Latch-Key Kids. The Pot Pie is back.

A long time ago, little boys and little girls from across the country came home from school to empty homes. Mom and Dad often had a few of hours of work to complete before they, too, came home and, if they still had the energy, commenced making dinner.

Sometimes they had that energy, and sometimes they didn’t, and when they didn’t, dinner was often was pulled, prepackaged from the freezer, and one of those frozen dinner staples was the Chicken Pot Pie.

And who could blame them, really? They worked, both of them (!) all day to put that Pot Pie on the table for you. You often had to wait until the weekend, when you were loaded up into the family wagon or minivan, by which your were transported to the home of your grandparents, where you knew you’d get at least one real weekly home-cooked meal.

But, with apologies for the digression, the Pot Pie is, as mentioned, back, and nothing says, “Hello, Stranger!” on a wintery night quite like the steam that escapes from the just-broken crust of a fresh, hot, homemade Pot Pie.

We make ours with, of course, chicken (legs and thighs), which, along with locally sourced, seasonal vegetables, we stir into a specially seasoned gravy. Then we cook it all in a cast-iron pot and top it with flaky pastry dome.

But you really have to give a cook some credit when it comes to making a perfect Pot Pie. See, since the cooking of all of its various components must converge and be deemed all done at the same time, the Pot Pie can be deceptively difficult to make.

And, as we have adopted the role of makers of comfort food, we know the Pot Pie, on its own, is simply not enough. Look at you! You’re all skin and bones! we say. Eat! And when we say “eat,” we mean it. That’s why we’re offering you the choice of one of several side dishes to pair with the pie. (We especially think you’ll like the winter medley of Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with housemade Chorizo.)

So give it up for our cooks. And give it up for your grandparents and, for driving you to their home once a week, give it up for your parents. And, shoot, while you’re at it, why not give it up for yourselves, too, because you made it this far, and, with a little home-cooked comfort food,  you turned out all right, didn’t you?