1 Dish Chicken and Veggies

Tonight my family is all over the place. My brother came home from work, turned around, and left for job number 2. My parents came home, loaded 2 of the four dogs into the car for a quick trip to the vet for a manicure. I was left home. As my mom ran out the door, she said “Why don’t you throw some hot dogs on the grill?” Now I like hot dogs as much as the next person. There was a solid 2 years of my small life where I ate nothing but hot dogs and chicken nuggets (my mother still talks about it). But having just had kielbasa the night before, I wasn’t feelin it. So, what could I make relatively quickly that would be done by the time my parents got home and wouldn’t make a giant mess? 1 dish chicken and veggies.

What you’ll need:

2 cups chicken stock or water with 2 bullion cubes

Salt

Pepper

Onion (we had yellow so that’s what I used)

Chicken Breasts

Potatoes

Green Beans (we have fresh, frozen ones from our garden)

Carrots

Thyme

Parsley

  1. Thaw your chicken breast. We buy chicken in bulk, and my mom usually cuts thick breasts in half so they’re not as thick and cook a bit quicker.
  2. Dirty peel and cut your potatoes and carrots. If you can’t stand the skins, feel free to peel them completely. If you are worried about them cooking all of the way in the oven (like me) you can pre-boil them for a bit to kick start the cooking process.
  3. Cut a slice of onion about 1/2 inch thick. Simply cut into quarters so you have pretty decent sized pieces.
  4. Prepare your chicken broth and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The chicken broth helps cook the potatoes, carrots, and green beans while also keeping the chicken nice and juicy!
  5. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. dump in your veggies and mix a bit. Lay your chicken breast on top. Pour your chicken broth over it all, it won’t cover all of the veggies but it will come about 1/2 up.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of thyme and parsley.

13177273_10209214354421043_6736157662262300396_n.jpg7. Cover with foil and put into your oven. Cook until chicken and veggies are cooked through.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, you could remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and make a thicker sauce with the juices and chicken broth by adding cornstarch. I did not do that this evening.

You could easily make this in a crock pot, or use additional vegetables like asparagus. If you were to do this in a crock pot, I would add an extra cup of broth/water just to be on the safe side, especially if you plan on leaving it unattended.

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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie (Actual Pie)

It was just within the last few years that I had learned that there are two versions of “chicken pot pie.” One is the literal pie version, with flakey crust stuffed with chicken and vegetable goodness. The other is the “Pennsylvania Dutch” version that is a thick and creamy chicken soup with big egg noodles. Some of you may be scratching your heads, I live about 30 minutes from Lancaster, home of relatively large Amish and Mennonite communities. Being so close, some of the recipes and cultural norms have wiggled themselves in…anyway. This recipe is a classic, actual pie version. In true Anna fashion, my mother asked me if I had ¬†recipe, I said yes. “Yes” actually means “I’ve got a plan but I’m totally making this up.” 9 times out of 10 it works for me.

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Pennsylvania Dutch CPP

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“Classic” CPP

 

Ingredients for filling:

2-3 thawed boneless/skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup carrots

1/4 cup green beans

1/4 cup corn

Any other vegetables you’d like- peas, lima beans etc.

3 potatoes

2-3 chicken bullion cubes

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cup flour

1 cup milk

Salt/Pepper

Pie Crust:

You can use 2 store bought crusts (top and bottom) or you can use this tried and true, my personal favorite, recipe HERE!

*Pre-heat your oven to 350*

1. In a medium-large pot boil chicken bullion cubes in about 6 cups of water.

2. Chop your chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces/cubes. Throw them into the water to cook. This flavors both the chicken and the stock. You will use this for the gravy filling later.

2. While the chicken is going, make your pie crust. Roll out and place your bottom crust into the pie dish. I made the bottom pretty thick because we like crust! Poke holes into the bottom to keep it from puffing up. Place in the oven at 350 until it is just turning golden brown. Mine happened to time perfectly for when I was ready to fill, about 30 minutes since it was thick.

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3. Peal and chop the potatoes into small bite sized chunks. Throw them in the pot with the chicken to boil until tender. I also threw in the carrots since they can take a bit longer.

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4. In a medium sauce pan, melt half a stick of butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and started boiling it will start to kinda bubble. Whisk in your flour continuously. It will bubble, thicken and start to turn brown. When it is a toasted almond color and smells nutty, remove from heat, slowly add in the milk to temper. Continue whisking. It will continue to thicken. This is a rue!

5. Using a ladle, ladle in as much of the stock from the pot with the chicken and potatoes as possible and put back on medium heat. Continue to whisk together. Add in salt and pepper to taste. This will be the “gravy” in your pie.

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6. Dump the rue/stock mixture back in the pot with the chicken and potatoes. Dump in the green beans, corn and other veggies in at this time. I used fresh-frozen veggies so they’d already been pre-cooked, they just needed “heated up.”

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7. Pull your bottom crust out of the oven if you have not already. Fill with your filling! You will probably have some left over filling.

8. Roll out your top crust, place on top, poke holes in the top to release steam. Put the pie glass/tin on a baking sheet to catch potential drips and replace back into the oven until the top crust is golden brown. This will take about a half hour. I used the broiler to then add a bit more color to the top crust.

Serve HOT! If you have any extra pie crust or filling, roll out the extra dough, cut circles, place in muffin tins and fill with the extra filling for mini-pies that you can freeze and eat later! YUM!

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My dad chalked this up to “another success.” Not too bad for not quite having a recipe! This recipe took a little over an hour start to finish, but for a CPP with HOMEMADE crust and gravy, I think that’s pretty good. This was perfect for the blustery cold winter we’ve been having up here in the North East!

Homemade French Onion Soup

It’s cold out-EW! Dad doesn’t feel well- double ew. I am home on break and in between jobs right now- YAY! This combination means killer dinners. I was going to make French Onion soup last night but decided on the Tortellini instead. When my dad found out that French onion had been an option, he was quite upset, hence making it tonight. It also happens to be one of my favorites! Between last nights dinner and tonights, we are going to have a killer left over night tomorrow night!

Ingredients:

1 pack beef stew meat/cubes- I know, FOS doesn’t usually have meat in it, well, mine does.

2-3 onions, we used yell

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tablespoon gravy master

5 beef bullion cubes or 6 cups of beef stock

6 cups of water *if using beef stock you will not need the water!*

Shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese

1. Cut stew meat into smaller bite sized pieces- halves or quarters. In a pan on medium heat, brown the cubes.

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2. While the cubes are browning, slice up your onion! We used 2 1/2. You can choose how you’d like to cut them. We quartered them and sliced them length wise so we had onion strips about an inch to 2 inches long.

3. After the cubes have browned, add the onions, stir and put a lid on them. You want the onions to sweat, soften and mix in with the cubes. This took about 10-15 minutes.

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4. Once the onions and cubes are done, put them in the crock pot. Add 3 cups of water or stock, depending on which you are using. Put the pan back on the stove and turn the heat up to high.

5. Add the remaining 3 cups of liquid to the pan, using a spoon, make sure there’s no good stuff stuck to the bottom. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, gravy master, and if you are using water, the bullion cubes. Bring to a boil and stir until the bullion cubes are pretty much dissolved.

6. Pour the yummy mixture into the crock pot with the onions, beef, and other liquids. Set on low and let simmer for the day.

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As with most of my crock pot recipes, this can be “sped up” by just doing this all in a big pot on the stove. This could technically all be done in the crock pot as well by just throwing everything in and turning it on high, but I feel like the flavors would not be as developed. It would be great to throw in the night before to have for lunch the following day as well!IMG_4718

If you’re like us and don’t have the cute little crocks, have mozzarella cheese shredded/sliced to put on top of the soup with a good, hearty crust of bread. Best if served nice and HOT. Nothing beats that stringy mozzarella with that bread dipped in the beefy, onion broth!

Creamy Crock Pot Tortellini Soup

One of the joys of being in a relationship is collecting and learning recipes. This happens to be one of my new favorites! Filling, easy, warm, and perfect for a cold winters day, this crock pot soup takes about 5 minutes to throw together. Seriously. There’s almost no prep time.

Ingredients:

1lb bag tortellini- cheese or meat

1 8oz pack of cream cheese

16 oz can/jar of tomato sauce

1 lb ground beef

1-2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

Basil

1. Dump in the tortellini, tomato sauce, and thawed ground beef into the crock pot. Make sure the ground beef is broken up.

2. Add in the cream cheese and split it up a bit so that it is not in one giant block.

3. Mince/chop garlic and onion and add to the pot.

4. Add in a few fresh basil leaves or about a table spoon of dried

5. Set on high and stir occasionally for at least 3 hours. The tortellini should be soft, any meat should be cooked through, the cream cheese should be melted and incorporated.

This whole process could be sped up by doing it in a pot on the stove if needed, or put in a crock pot on low for the day. Serve with a good hearty bread and eat up! Possible additions or substitutions include: diced tomatoes, chicken or a ground meat like turkey or venison, meat tortellini, or meatballs.

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