Sunday, January 23, 2011
Most markets carry chickens already baked and ready to eat. I usually buy one when I go to the market because I can use it for anything I might want to cook. Sometimes I just slice it and make sandwiches. Sometimes I take half of the chicken and make chicken fajitas. Sometimes I make chicken pot pie or I can slice it off and use it for dinner with sides of garlic noodles and string beans or anything else I might feel like.
If you're like me and you don't have a lot of time when you get home, the chicken is already cooked and usually all you have to do is add to it. You don't have to worry about cooking the chicken plus, they make great sandwiches or you can pull a little off and add it to a salad.
Chicken Pot Pie is another relatively simple dish to make, especially if you don't really mind working with a pie crust. I'm no pro at pie crusts, as you can see by the photos. LOL! The thing is it doesn't have to be picture perfect to taste great.
All you need is chicken, a family size can of cream of chicken soup, a bag (or can) of peas and carrots or whatever veggies you'd like in your pie, and your pie crust whether you make it from scratch or from a box like me. I actually used a whole page of peas, carrots and string beans. I cheat (sort of), by buying a whole baked chicken from the market, already cooked. I consider it a staple since I can cook anything with the chicken or just slice pieces to make a sandwich. I only used half of the baked chicken in this recipe but you can use more or less depending on how YOU want your pie to come out.
I'll bet you can figure this out without me telling you but here goes. Dump the can of Cream Of Chicken Soup into a large pot. Add in the veggies and let it start to cook. Here's a tip I learned after the fact. Using precooked chicken, don't add the chicken until the veggies are about done in the soup otherwise the chicken will shred from the stirring and seasoning.
Season to taste. I added pepper, garlic powder and a little seasoning salt. Thought the soup probably has enough salt, once you add in the chicken and veggies it might need a little more depending on YOUR taste preferences.
While the soup is cooking you can start your pie crust. I like to have a top and bottom crust so I have to split the dough into two balls making sure that the one for the bottom is a larger ball than the first because it will need more dough to come up the sides of the pan I'm using for the pie.
Tip, if you're not used to making pie crusts: 1) If the dough starts to get sticky and is sticking to the rolling pin sprinkle a little flower on the dough and rub a little on the rolling pin. You can repeat that as needed to keep it from sticking; 2) Hold the pan you're using for the pie over the crust to see how big the bottom crust should be. It should measure the bottom of the pan plus enough come up all sides of the pan.
You don't have to super cook the soup because it will also cook in the oven. You'll want it hot enough so you can judge the consistency. I add a little water to the soup but not a lot because you don't want it too watery. It should be on the thick side.
Pour the soup mix into the pan on top of the bottom pie crust. Sit it aside and then work on the top crust. A variation of the tip above - pick up the pie crust and hold it over the pan to see if it is big enough the cover the top of the pie plus about an inch.
I use waxed paper to roll out my pie crust on because it doesn't stick much and it's easy to work with. When I put the crust on top it is easy to turn it upside down, lay it across the top of the pie and then peel the waxed paper off. It takes a little practice. Try not to leave any holes when you lay the top because the soup will bubble when baking and come through the holes.
I didn't worry about being too pretty when I baked this one. I could have made the edges prettier but I was in a rush and had some other things to do.
If its not the prettiest thing when you're done, who cares. I'll bet it tastes great and remember, practice makes perfect... or at least better (smile).