Reusing Leftovers: Chicken Pot Pie

Does your family eat leftovers very well?  Mine does not.  Most of the time if I do not reinvent a dish out of last night’s dinner, it will not get eaten; and I do not know about you, but I am not crazy about throwing money away like that.  You may not care.  I do.  Remember that Garlic Roasted Chicken we had a few nights ago?  Believe it or not, we had a couple of pieces left over.  This is what I made using that leftover chicken.  This recipe I am about to share with you is great for so many reasons: 1) it is hearty and sticks to their ribs, 2) it is a great way to reuse whatever leftovers you have in the fridge, 3) it is a great way to include veggies for those picky ones – this seems to be one of those flavor profiles that I can pass off easily with my finicky eaters, and 4) it tastes delicious!

Chicken Pot Pie

2 tbsp Butter or margarine

Chopped onion, celery, red/yellow/orange sweet pepper, mushrooms (fresh or canned)

1/4 cup flour

1 cup Chicken stock or 1 Chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water

1/2 cream or milk

Frozen peas and carrots mixed, 1 boiled or baked potato (cubed)

1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Salt & Pepper

Refrigerated Pie Crust (1 or both)

1 Beaten egg and 1/4 cup water

Before I explain how to prepare all of this, I just want to insert that you can put all kinds of veggies in here.  If they are raw, start them with the onions and celery at the beginning.  If they are pre-cooked, add them after your sauce is added.  I have made many variations of this – I do not stress if I do or don’t have certain veggies, this one’s flexible.  I often leave out the potato because of the starchy crust.  Whatever you like and have to get rid of is fine.  I also like to add fresh herbs right before I put the filling in the crust; I have even put a bit of dill and a dab of Dijon mustard in the sauce for a different twist (which is very yummy too).

Pre-heat oven to 425°. Spray pie dish/casserole dish/baking square with cooking spray.  I like to line the bottom with 1 of the pie crusts, but you do not have to do this – you can simply cover your filling if you only have 1 pie crust dough.  Set aside.

Saute raw veggies in butter until tender (in this case it was onion, celery, red pepper, mushrooms).  Sprinkle flour over all and stir around for about half a minute.  Add chicken stock and cream or milk, stirring well.  You are basically making a gravy.  Add chopped chicken, frozen veggies, and any other pre-cooked veggies now.  Mix everything together and cook on Low to Medium heat for another 2 minutes or so.  Add any fresh herbs and potato now. Salt and pepper to taste, and stir together.

Spoon filling into baking dish and cover with pie crust.  Add the 1/4 cup water to the beaten egg and whisk together.  Brush the top of the pie crust with the egg mixture.  Bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 min or until crust is golden.

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Tomato Soup With a Facelift

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  I hate tomato soup.  I have always disliked it.  There is something, I don’t know, maybe a little too sweet about it for me.  A couple of nights ago I decided to try the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup dinner, but I wanted to try making the soup my own way.  Guess what?  It was a HUGE success!  Before I knew it, the pan was empty.  So here it is with my spin on it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Tomato Soup with a Facelift

(1) can Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup

(1/2) can Water (Optional)

(1/2) can Milk (Optional)

(1) tsp Parsley

(1) tsp Basil

dash of Season All Seasoned Salt

dash Garlic Salt

dash Garlic Pepper

dash Lemon Pepper

salt & pepper to taste

Some people prefer to add 1 can of water to their condensed tomato soup and some people prefer 1 can of milk.  I decided to go middle of the road, and I thought it had a nice balanced texture.  The choice of milk, water, or both is yours; I recommend trying it with at least a little milk (unless you have a food allergy) because it adds a bit of creaminess to your soup.  Combine all ingredients in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

It is quick, it is easy, and it goes great with a crispy grilled cheese sandwich.  Enjoy!

Welcome to The Ripe Banana

I love food.  I always have. There is just something wonderful about walking into the kitchen, following your instincts and your palate, and creating a dish that not just fills your empty stomach but comforts you to the core.  I love hearing the silence around our dinner table of four – you know, that beautiful silence that says everyone is too busy enjoying my masterpiece to talk.  There are the occasional times when I hear, “Mom, this tastes yuck!” Yes, yuck; not yucky.  Yuck.  Those are the times to laugh it off, toss that idea out the window, and break out the peanut butter and jelly.  A true foodie never lets that hamper his spirit either.  I invite you to follow me on my road of what I hope is a creative yet practical approach to food and all things cooking.  No topics are off limits.  I hope to share recipes, tips and tricks, and dining experiences for all my curious followers.  I expect to have a lot of fun with this, and I hope you do too as you follow me at The Ripe Banana.