Monday, September 14, 2009

Make it Yummy Monday

I love to cook. When my recipe magazine comes in the mail, I stop everything (I say that as if I were busy doing anything) to look through it to see what recipes to make next. I have been known to spend hours googling what to do with a pound of ground beef.

I’m not the kind of cook you see on Iron Chef. I can’t make things up with a pile of veggies and a fish with its head still on. But I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business. Once I’ve tried a recipe and found it to be a keeper, I will tweak it to make it my own.

Recently I had a girlfriend ask for one of my recipes. She needed something she could make ahead and  be along the lines of “comfort food”. I suggested my chicken pot pie. At the mention of chicken pot pie, CGMan suddenly joined the conversation and suggested we might have that for dinner. With that, we girls decided to have a hands-on pot pie making lesson.

We ran to the store, gathered the ingredients and set about making pot pies. As we were working, she said she was to stop by a mutual friend on her way home and how he loves chicken pot pie. Well, I’m a sucker for a hungry man, so I sent my pot pie with her to give to him and the other fellas he had over, much to the chagrin of CGMan who had been salivating over the thought of some homemade comfort food. I told him not to worry, my BFF Jenny would whip us up something good, like lasagna.

My friend had such a good time learning to make my chicken pot pie, she suggested I put it on my blog. I said to myself, “Self, you don’t have anything else to blog about, especially since the Buckeyes lost last night, so we definitely don’t want to blog about them. So let’s show our readers how to make chicken pot pie.”

Here we go with the first episode of Make It Yummy, Monday:

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First you have to pick an apron. You would think this would be a no-brainer, but it depends what mood I’m in and also which season. I have Christmas, Autumn, cows and the like.

Okay, we have an apron, lets see what ingredients we will need.

 

 

IMG_1640 I like using a whole chicken because we like all the kinds of meat. I used to boil a whole one, but have found getting a rotisserie chicken is such a time saver and really has a better flavor.

As you can see, this is a semi-homemade version. Let me tell you something, Sandra Lee doesn’t have anything over a single mom feeding three kids. I could turn a box of hamburger helper into haute cuisine and make it last for three meals! I digress.

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It’s important to have all your ingredients at the ready.

Having a helper or two is never a bad thing: 

 

 

 

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The first thing is to pull all the chicken meat off the bones. Sometimes its best not to let the helpers help with this part.

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Make sure you get every bit of that chicken-y goodness!

After you get all the meat off, cut it into small, bite sized pieces. Put that in a large bowl.

IMG_1653Next,  we’re going to cube the potato. If you are not a big potato fan, you can certainly omit this step. The best thing about this recipe is that it can be modified to fit any taste buds. I happen to like potato in my pot pie, and the bag of frozen vegetables doesn’t have potato, so I cube up a small potato, soak it in hot, hot water while I finish adding everything else. It gives a bit of a head start on cooking the potatoes.

 

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Rinse the vegetables under cold running water to thaw them out. Drain and put in bowl with the cut up chicken.

Next we’ll add about a half can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom soup, or cream of celery soup- the choice is up to you) and about a half jar of roasted chicken gravy. You can always add more later, if it seems too dry. If you put too much in, it will make your pot pie soupy and that’s no good.

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Have you ever followed one of your mom’s recipes and wondered why something was in there, but you put it in anyway, because that’s how mom did it? Me, too. I put about 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter in with the chicken & veggies. I don’t know the reason, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t forget to drain the potatoes and throw them in there, too.

 

 

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Now it’s time to add the spices. Garlic, of course. Since I didn’t use cream of celery soup, this time I’ll add some celery flakes. A little salt and pepper, maybe some dill weed. This section is totally about what you like. I put different spices in it every time I make it. So knock yourself out.

 

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Then you stir it all up.

Sometimes I pretend like I have my own cooking show and start singing, because my cooking show will be like a variety show and I sing and tell jokes while I cook:

 Steer it up, little dar-lin, steer it up… come on and steer it up, little dar-ling!

You can always get your helpers to sing back up, right girls?  IMG_1648A

Now comes the fun part, making it look like a pie!

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Spray your deep dish pie plate with cooking spray, then unroll one of the pie crusts into it. Add your filling. I kind of mound it toward to the middle to leave room to pinch together the top and bottom crusts.

 

 

 

 

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Take the top crust and fold it over the edge of the bottom crust and pinch together. After you’ve gone all the way around, you can pinch the edges to flute it.

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After you have your pie assembled, poke 4 steam holes in the center, and brush with melted butter. This will give it a nice brown, crispy top.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until the crust is a nice crispy brown. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

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Serve with a crisp garden salad and waaa-laaa! You have dinner! Isn’t that right, girls?

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