Simple Baked Chicken pie for little hearts.

Well the weather has been cold, wet, grey and depressing for the most of October and early November. We haven’t had much of a summer either, and as we head into the Christamas season the days are shorter and the nights seem to start at 5:30 pm and last forever. hmmmph :((

To lift our sinking spirits I often try to make us some sweet goodies or heartwarming and tummy filling savoury comfort food, and play us some uplifting tunes. My definition of the ultimate heart warming food would be either a large bowl of hot chocolate fudge :))) or Chocolate lava cakes, for Baby A it would be a bowl of Chicken soup or as I discovered recently ‘fish or chicken pie’. 
The first time Baby A had a Chicken or Fish pie was at nursery…surprise surprise 😉
On one hand, it is so satisfying to know that he actually enjoys freshly cooked, healthy and wholesome food at nursery, food that he and his mates not only enjoy, but very often go on for second helpings too!! On the other hand, I feel guilty for not making him all these lovely kiddy delicacies myself. 

So my NewYears resolution for 2013 would be to start thinking out of the box, and instead of serving him the usual rice and lentil soup with meat and veg, to serve him more adventurous kiddy food. Dishes like sweet chilli noodles, vegetable parcels, minestrone soup, fish pots, chicken korma, pesto pasta that he so enjoys at nursery (I never knew there could be so many food varieties for toddlers ???)

 I chose to start my adventurous kiddy food journey by making Baby A’s top favourite at nursery “Chicken Pie Bake”. As I had all the required ingredients at hand, I busied myself making it for him while he was taking a morning nap. It hardly took me 20 minutes to prepare. At lunch time he didn’t seem too keen to even try it, but come dinner, when I served it to him again, he was dancing and happily wolfing down the creamy mash and chicken, asking for more :))
 So here goes another entry into  my “Tickle My baby- toddler recipes collection. I hope to have more triumphs with feeding him…….if not I shall try and coax Mary the wonderful nursery cook to share her lovely recipes with me.

This dish is rich and delicious and is the perfect comfort treat for those little tummies on rainy or grey days.

To Make Simple Baked Chicken Pie
Makes : 2 toddler servings or 1serving for an adult.

Cooked chicken pieces: 2  medium sized shredded

For the topping:
Sweet potato/ Potato: 1 large
Butter: 1tsp
Flour: 1 tsp
Milk:  about 1/2 cup
Philadelphia cream cheese: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Paprika: a pinch (optional)
Baby spinach leaves: 1 handful torn into shreds
Cheddar cheese cube (Baby gel): 1 for grating over the pie
1. Wash the sweet potato and place in the microwave and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes or till done. Alternatively boil in salted water till done. Once cooked remove the outer skin and mash with the back of a fork. Keep aside.
2. For the white sauce- Place pan on medium heat, add butter when melted add the flour and stir to fry the flour till it has slightly changed colour to light brown, take the pan off heat, add enough milk to make a sauce of pouring consistency. Turn heat to low and allow the sauce to come to a gentle boil for a minute, then add the cream cheese and the mashed potato.Mix well with a whisk to make a creamy mix, add salt to taste, a pinch of paprika if desired. Keep aside. The potato mixture should be of a loose or soft spooning consistency. (Add milk to loosen mixture, if too thick). Add torn baby spinach leaves to the mixture. Mix well.

4. In a baking dish place the cooked shredded chicken at the bottom ( if desired you could add a few precooked corn kernels or green peas or thinly sliced mushrooms to the chicken layer). Spoon over the potato mixture evenly. Grate over a cube of baby cheddar cheese. Place in the centre of a  preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes at 200C till cheese is melted and the sides of the dish appears to be  bubbling.
5. Allow the chicken pie to slightly cool before serving your little one.

Caysera’s Notes:
1. I used leftover Oven baked tomato chicken from the previous day to make this pie. You could use any  cooked chicken. I also used sweet potato instead a regular potato, and thought the slight sweet taste of the sweet potato, complimented the creamy savoury flavours of the dish beautifully.

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