Cooking Through Fiction: Stubborn Chicken Pie
If you had a train ticket to any place, where would you choose to go? Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Avery Ross doesn’t have much of a choice concerning her destination. Due to a scribbling of obscenities on her forehead, she’s sent across the country to North Dakota. She’s probably wondering what I’m wondering: Does anyone actually live in North Dakota? I’m kidding. I know at least five people who call ND home.
Avery’s punishment involves working at her aunt’s boarding house, but is it really punishment if you’re forced to be around not only one gorgeous green-eyed boy, but also two more? The Haldens are a group of stubborn, handsome brothers, and Avery’s thrown right into the thick of them and their family drama.
Avery’s aunt warns her about falling for a Halden, but Avery’s just as stubborn as the whole bunch. Does she listen to her aunt’s warning? What do you think? Would I have? No way, no how. I’m just as stubborn as Avery.
So, if I were in Stubborn and I were a friend of Avery’s (knowing she likes Ritz crackers and that she’s not exactly a cook), I would invite her over to my house so we could gush about the Halden brothers while I baked a chicken pie (lightened-up version, of course).
“‘You brought reading material too? Am I that boring?’ I flung the open box of crackers across the room. They flew out like confetti and painted the floor with polka dots. ‘Oh crap,” I muttered under my breath. Gabe laughed a hearty laugh. We fell to our knees at the same time and scooped up the crackers into a pile on my throw rug. ‘Five second rule,’ Gabe joked with a mouthful.” (Arnold, Jeanne. Stubborn. 2014.)
Stubborn Chicken Pie
Level of Difficulty: As easy as falling in love
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 box of Back to Nature classic round crackers
2 ½ c low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ c unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain)
¾ c almond flour (or whole wheat flour)
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
½ tsp parsley
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook chicken breasts (either in a crockpot or boil on the stove until chicken is done an no pink is showing).
While chicken is cooking, grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Combine chicken broth and ½ c of milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings until a smooth, thick mixture forms.
Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan with the broth. Cook over low heat and stir continuously, whisking as the mixture simmers. Continue to simmer and whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick (5-10 minutes). The mixture will thicken as it cools.
Put half of the box of crackers in a zip top bag and smash with rolling pin, meat tenderizer, fist, favorite book, etc. Put smashed crackers in a bowl and pour ½ c of olive oil into bowl. Mix thoroughly. Line bottom of baking dish with crackers.
Allow cooked chicken to cool. Then tear chicken into shreds and drop over crackers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mix Greek yogurt into chicken broth mixture. Pour mixture over chicken and crackers.
Smash the remaining crackers and mix with the remaining ½ c of olive oil. Sprinkle crackers over mixture.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 minutes until crackers are browned and mixture is bubbly.
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