Sometimes it’s easier to throw in the towel and go pre-made. We’re all busy with insert-word-in-blank, and it takes a lot of time to really do some of the things by hand that maybe we should. Like make pie crusts. We love Mr. Pillsbury. That squishy dough man has appeased our food yearnings with biscuits, toaster strudels, crescent rolls, pizza crusts, and brownies for years. He’s also rolled out his share of pie crusts. We’ve had many, many years of Pillsbury pie crusts, and we’ve enjoyed. But there’s nothing like one you make with a mean combination of real butter, a pastry blender, and a little bicep/tricep action. Our grandmas and the Pennsylvania Amish knew what they were doing!
This is a great dinner to come home too, but it takes a bit of prep time. We opted for the make in the morning, go to Happy Hour in the afternoon, come back and heat in the oven at night method. It worked very well. It also tasted great with a eeney weeney side salad. Our apologies for the fact that we totally did not measure one thing that went into the vinaigrette. Just start with a few things in the bowl, mix, taste and add based on whatever it may be missing. Hopefully the approximations below will be a good jumping point for you to modify based on your preferences.
Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie – Serves 6 to 8
2 white potatoes, parboiled and cubed
2 red potatoes, parboiled and cubed
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
2 cups frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken broth, warm
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon basil, minced
1 teaspoon mint, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sage
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1/2 tablespoon dill, minced
2 bay leaves, whole
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Zest of 1 lemon, minced
6-7 chicken breast tenderloins
2 pie crusts (frozen or prepared)
Crust (from Simply Recipes)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup Crisco, butter flavor
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1. Start with crust. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add chilled butter and combine with a pastry blender.
2. Add shortening and combine to cut into flour and butter mixture. Mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.
3. Slowly add ice water by tablespoons. Mix well after each addition until dough begins to stick together.
4. Place dough on a flat surface and divide into 2 even pieces. Roll into balls, dust lightly with flour and wrap in plastic. Place in fridge for at least an hour.
5. As dough chills, drop chicken tenders into boiling water. Cook until no longer pink inside, approximately 2-4 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl. When cool, tear into pieces–a mixture of large and small.
6. In a deep, wide skillet, melt butter and oil. Add garlic, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and bay leaves. Cook until carrots have softened a bit but aren’t mushy, approximately 10 minutes. Pour in chicken broth.
7. Mix cornstarch and flour into milk. Mix well. Add to cooking vegetables. Toss in peas.
8. Cook until mixture begins to thicken, approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir in remaining herbs, spices, chicken and half of the cheese.
9. Remove bay leaves and take off heat. Allow to cool.
10. As chicken filling cools, take dough out of fridge and roll one ball for bottom half of crust. Drop in 9-inch pie dish and trim edges. Place into fridge as you roll out second piece of dough for top of crust.
11. Pull out crust and pour chicken filling into dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with top crust and trim edges a bit. Roll top crust edges over bottom crust. Press together all around with a fork. Cut slits into top crust.*
12. Whisk egg and milk together. Brush over top crust. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
*This is totally a make in advance meal. Let the filling cool completely (pop into the fridge to speed that up and keep crust in fridge as well). Pour filling into bottom crust, top with upper crust, cut slits and keep in fridge until ready to cook. Brush with egg wash and bake.
Garlic Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt
Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and honey together well. Salt to taste.
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