Monday, January 5, 2009

Dinner is served.

Recently I received an undeserved compliment on my cooking. It wasn't that I didn't make the dish (because I did) or that it wasn't good (because it was), it's just that it was so easy I felt a little embarrassed taking credit for it. It was like bringing White Trash Dip (microwaved Velveeta and canned chili or salsa) to a Super Bowl party and saying anything other than, "Hell yeah it's good!" when someone says they like it. Without the slaving over a hot stove bit, it feels funny to get props for cooking.

Then again, it's not like Rachel Ray is reinventing the wheel or anything. Easy food can be just as good as the fancy stuff. Sometimes it's even better.

(Dammit if I'm not craving that dip!)

So, I have decided to share what will soon be one of your favorite recipes. It's super easy yet surprisingly impressive. Well, impressive up until the point you reveal the key ingredient.

Evidently, the guy who shared the recipe with my friend Charlotte (yes, a guy - I told you it was easy) tried using fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables and multiple combinations of canned vegetables until he just gave up and accepted that Veg-All is the hands down favorite. Who am I to argue?

Chicken Pot Pie

2 Cups Cooked Chicken (I just use all the white meat from a rotisserie chicken)
1 Can Veg-All (boo-ya!)
1 Can Cream of Chicken with Herbs
1 Package refrigerated pie crust
1/2 Cup Diced Mushrooms
1/8 Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix everything (except the pie crust) together; pour mixture into the bottom crust (obviously it should be in a pie tin or dish); cover with top crust; pinch edges; bake for 50 minutes (or until it's golden brown); cool for 10 minutes; ENJOY; accept compliments graciously (high fives work well).

Seriously, it's that easy. I really don't think it's possible to mess it up. If it was, believe you me, I would know. We've left out the mushrooms - delish; made it without chicken - still good; imperfectly doubled the recipe - no problem. We've tried it with refrigerator crusts and frozen crusts, both of which were equally good (Bill suggests tossing the bottom crust into the oven for a few minutes before you pour in the filling; give it a try if you're so inclined). We've even skipped the bottom crust altogether so we could stretch the ingredients to make two pies (twice as good!). Once we even ate some leftover filling on a crusty piece of bread. To die. Tonight I made individual pies because well, how fun is that?

Bill, Maggie & Liam. Oh, who am I kidding; L is for leftovers.

We bought the dishes when my sister was in town because she wanted to make us her favorite recipe: chicken pot pie. Her version was AMAZING but it better be after all the time she spent in the kitchen slicing and dicing and sauteing and cooking. When she asked us how it stacked up to our version, Bill summed it up best, "It's like apples and oranges, Moose. There's just no comparison."


Edited to add:

Does burning count as messing up? If so, I may have slightly exaggerated about this recipe being fool proof.

That's what we get for buttering up the crusts and sticking them back in the broiler for just a minute. Not that you should let that stop you from using butter. Please, butter away! Just pay attention to the timer.

And don't worry about our dinner. It was not even close to being ruined.


Girl Healthy said...

I like the flashcard in the background of the last pictures. Q. Like for Quick and easy dinner.

Courtney said...

Secret revealed! Yay! Can't wait to make this because we have been craving it for a YEAR! Perhaps it was so good too because you put a lot love into it! That makes all the difference right? You've seen the Masaru Emoto experiment? A little love makes all the difference.

MarvelousMOM said...

That sounds excellent. And that dip is so good...I absolutely love it.

sunny @ hooprama said...

This is fabulous! I will try it out too! Where did you get the fab letter cookie cutters? The individual pies were so cute!

Anna said...

i love the little pies! we'll have to try that! we use this same recipe, but make it vegetarian by using cream of celery soup. we also use diced new potatoes (canned) to take the place of the chicken. mmm!