Cooking from the Cabinets: Day 2

(Formatting fixes made, prepare to be inundated!!)

Day 2 of the Cabinet challenge and boy are you going to be disappointed…

No, I didn’t break the challenge again. C’mon, I’m better than that. However, of my very few posts to the site, one of the few things I have already shown you is how I make chicken pie and guess what we made? 🙂  So this is a review in most ways.

Breakfast was cereal (exciting, no?) but that’s off the table now because I used the last of the milk. Oops.  Lunch was a turkey sandwich and chips, and a snack was a couple of handfuls of seasoned nuts (a mixture of almonds, peanuts, cashews and sunflower seeds roasted together. Yet another thing I promise to post later). So for dinner I was digging through the fridge and found some leftover rotisserie chicken that I got at Costco several days ago. It was destined to end up at that great dumpster in the sky had I not rescued it from its fate in the very back of the fridge.  I’m so charitable.

Anyway, Chubby Hubby and I picked all the meat off the bones and diced it up nicely. In retrospect, I really, really wish I had saved the bones to make stock, but I frequently make my own rotisserie chickens so it will simply have to wait and be a post for another day.

So, to review, we took the chicken, diced it up and put it in a greased casserole dish. I added a bag of mixed frozen veggies, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a cup and a half of chicken broth, and some seasonings (the classics: salt, pepper, poultry seasonings, onion and garlic powder, etc.). Once this is well mixed together I make my crust mixture and pour it on top. Bake this in a 400-425 degree oven for about an hour, or until the crust is brown and the casserole is bubbling.

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This is one of Chubby Hubby’s favorites, which I think is why he offered to help, and he ate a big helping AND took some to work for lunch. This one is always a hit and it was nice to not have to fuss with dinner.

What are some of your favorite “go-to” recipes?


 

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Chicken on the bone. Grrr.

I hate chicken on the bone. I don’t know why, I guess because it reminds me of what I’m eating. Flesh of an animal. Hmmm. I prefer, as my sister puts it so delicately, to “buy all my meat all sanitized, cut up and put on styrofoam trays so that no animals were hurt in the process.” I know this is not very respectful to the animal, but it is what it is.

That being said, I bought a big package of chicken thighs on sale at Publix and came home to find them skinless but on the bone. What to do? I decided that I would brown them in a skillet and roast them in the oven to make sure they got done.

So, Chubby Hubby and I set about it. I rinsed the chicken and dried it well so it would crisp. Chubby Hubby seasoned it with salt and pepper, and assisted me in the searing process.  He seared and put the chicken in a roasting pan while I chopped an onion and several cloves of garlic to roast with the chicken. Make lemonade out of lemons, right? 

After this was done, we roasted the chicken, onions and garlic in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes (make sure the juices are running clear).  Pulled it out, looks and smells YUMMY. Hmm, maybe this will be ok.

Now, what to do with all this chicken? Our answer: De-bone it and make some Chicken Pie.  How do you make Chicken Pie? I’m glad you asked!

You need a couple of ingredients:

  • Chicken Broth
  • 1 can of vegetables
  • 2 cans of favorite “Cream of” soups
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning

I de-boned and cut up the chicken into small cubes.  Then, I looked at the vegetables I had. Hmm, just carrots and peas. Personally, I like some potatoes in my Chicken Pie, so I decided to cut up a couple of small white potatoes and blanch them (Note: just blanch, don’t cook completely. Remember that they will cook some more in the casserole). While they potatoes boiled, I combined the peas and carrots, chicken and cream of soups. The cream soups I used were Cream of Mushroom and Roasted Garlic and Cream of Chicken and Herbs. Stir together well in casserole dish.

Once the potatoes were  almost done…I realized I had cooked too many potatoes. Oh well, the more the merrier! I drained them and added ’em to the party. It’s now time to add the broth and it hit me. WAIT! I have all this yummy broth that roasted with the chicken, why not use that? (Seriously, how could I throw it away, look at it!)

The proper amount of broth to use is the amount equal to one of the Cream of soup cans. So I strained the broth and added it to the can, came about to be about half of what I needed, so I added the store-bought stuff till I had enough. Stirred it all together till it was combined evenly. Add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning now and stir it all together one more time.

Now, it’s crust time. Now my mom (hi mom!) gave me this awesome recipe for crust for anything that needs crust. Just take a stick of cold butter, cut it into cubes, combine with 1 cup of flour until it looks like sand.  Add 1 cup of milk and mix together. Pour this batter over the top of the casserole last thing.

(Note: I usually prefer more crust, so I mix up about 1 1/2 times the “1 to 1 to 1” recipe, but for simplicity sake, I kept the original amount for this excursion.)

Now bake the Chicken Pie at 415-420 degrees for around 45 minutes. There are 2 sure-fire ways to tell when it’s done.

1) You give the casserole a slight shake in the oven (with a pot holder. Seriously. No lawsuits.) and if it’s still more wobbly than solid, it’s not done. When it’s fairly solid, you’re golden.

2) The crust turns beautiful golden brown. If you peek in the oven and the crust isn’t brown, give it another 5-10 minutes and check it.

Voila! Yummy Chicken Pie that re-heats well for lunches and leftovers.  I guess chicken on the bone is all right after all.