May 4, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe and Frozen Onion Cubes Cooking Tip


I have loved cooking since I was a little girl and coming from a family of 7, there were always opportunities to get in the kitchen and throw-down, mess-hall style. When I struck out on my own after college, I found it difficult to dial back my batch sizes to cook for one and there were always leftovers. Roasted chicken was one meal that gave rise to several others and I whipped up the following recipe to eat on nights when I was pressed for time.

In retrospect, I only thought I was pressed for time when I was single. Now that I have a husband, two small daughters, a dog, 40+ chickens, a house to run, a Facebook page, a blog, an eBay store, an Etsy shop, a YouTube channel, a small business and a non-profit corporation to run, I have come to understand what busy actually is.  All the more reason to make roasted chicken. This pot pie recipe takes lots of help from the pantry, so if you're looking for a hearty, tasty meal to serve your family in a hurry, this one fits the bill.

This recipe is even easier if you use frozen carrots and frozen onion cubes (see recipe below)

CHICKEN POT PIE
2 large carrots, cut into coins
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped or two frozen onion cubes
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
½ teaspoon of dried sage
Salt & pepper to taste

 1 ½ cups of leftover cooked, diced chicken or turkey meat
 1 10.5 ounce can of prepared chicken or turkey gravy
 ½ cup water
 ¾ cup of dry herb-seasoned stuffing mix
 1/2 cup of frozen peas
 1 Pillsbury pie crust (the refrigerated, rolled-up variety)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Steam or boil the carrot coins until they are fork tender. Set aside until ready to use.

3. Melt butter in heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions & celery and sauté
until celery & onions are tender. Add sage, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove from heat. Add meat, gravy and water. Mix to combine. Add dry stuffing and frozen peas.

5. Spoon mixture into pie pan. Unroll pie crust and lay over top of pie pan. Cut several small vents in the top of the crust with a knife to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until pie crust is browned.


FROZEN ONION CUBES
I have found that most of my dinner recipes include sauteed onions and am always looking for shortcuts to make life easier. Choping & cooking onions takes time and I figured if I had sauteed onions on stand-by, I could save a good 10-12 minutes off of each recipe. So, here's how I do it: (this tip also works well for peppers)


FROZEN ONION CUBES
Large, sweet onions (I use 6-8 Vidalia)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Dice up onions and sauté  on medium to medium-low heat until translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool, portion onions into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap. Place in freezer until hardened. Pop out of trays into a zip top bag and keep frozen until ready to use.

When ready to use onions, place in a microwaveable dish and cook on high for one minute. Voila! Instant onions! (And no, they don't make your freezer or ice cube trays stinky.)




53 comments :

  1. Wow, looks delicious!

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  2. This sounds really good. I love the onion (& pepper) cubes idea! I always freeze raw peppers diced or sliced when in season, but cooking them also would also be such a time saver!!! Thanks

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  3. Yum... I am going to try the chicken pot pie soon!

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  4. i hope to win ... i never win anything :(

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  5. I love having cut up veggies in the freezer. I cut up onions, carrots celery, peppers and even corn,when corn is fresh. Sometimes I make mixes like peppers and onions or soup veggies. This is great in the summer when the garden is full swing. It makes cooking so much quicker. I also trade with my sister. I'll give her bags of mine and she gives me hers!! You can even do green beans and such!!

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    1. What a great idea, Sara! Love the food-swap concept!

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    2. Congratulations Sara! You have won a "Chicks Happen" vinyl window decal today! Please email me with your shipping address at: service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

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    3. Oops, I meant a 'chicks happen' keychain but you can choose which you prefer: the decal or the keychain. I have both. :)

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  6. I love the onion cube trick, I will definitely be trying that!

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    1. Congratulations Karen! You have won an "I ♥ My Backyard Chickens" vinyl window deca!

      Please email me with your shipping address at: service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

      Delete
  7. CARROL MCCANN5/7/12, 9:29 AM

    I'VE NEVER THOUGHT OF THE FROZEN ONION IDEA!!!! WHAT A GREAT IDEA. THANKS

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    1. I'm ALWAYS looking for a faster, more efficient way to do things. I think they used to call that 'laziness?' lol

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  8. I love the the Onion Cube idea!! We use onions in everything, and for several things I saute' them up in a little pan to the side, and then add them to what we are cooking just because we LOVE the flavor like that! I have never used the Virgin Olive Oil with them though, does it give them a different flavor? I love your tips! Thanks :P Kays Backyard Farm, tiannakay@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. If you use a good, extra virgin olive oil, it does flavor the onions mildly.

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  9. Great dinner idea. Make it in the morning (when you're fresh and full of energy) throw in the oven in the afternoon when you're tired. Yum!
    Barbara Woodward

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  10. if i can get my 4 year old to eat the pot pie you have something amazing!! gonna have to try it asap!! looks yummy! elisembaslow@hotmail.com
    Elise Baslow :)

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    1. Elise: if you get your 4yr old to eat it, you let me know. Mine won't touch anything unfamiliar. :(

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  11. I'd love to win! I don't eat any meat though. I make my own seitan and make Non-chicken pot pie. Getting my chickens got my son and I started on becoming vegetarians, and now we are vegan. I really love it, I don't have nearly as many Multiple Sclerosis symptoms now, and I don't have to take steroids every day anymore.

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    1. Good for you that eating differently has helped your symptoms!!

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  12. I always chop up my leftover veggies, just bag them together and use them in my pot pies or soups. So convenient. It is a raining day here today...perfect for chicken pot pie!

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    Replies
    1. Patty: I have never thought of doing that! So smart and thrifty!!

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  13. Esther Widgren5/7/12, 11:53 AM

    I always end up cooking something else with the leftovers from a previous meal. One roast chicken can end up as part of three or more meals: the carcass gets cooked down for stock along with some vegetables, the leftover meat can be diced up and thrown on a dinner salad or used for quesadillas or enchilladas or used with the stock for chicken & dumplings. I credit my thrifty "farm stock" parents for teaching me to USE everything!

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  14. I love the onion cube trick! Great Idea!!

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  15. Sounds really good, cannot wait to try it and I love the onion cube idea, especially since onions seem to go bad at my house before I use them. Thanks for the idea!

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    1. My pleasure, Shelly. Let me know how you like it!

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  16. Donna Nagirny5/7/12, 1:01 PM

    This brings back so many wonderful memories of delicious pot pie meals at our house growing up. We always had homemade pot pies after Thanksgiving--so much left over turkey... And on so many cold winter nights, it was the best supper anyone could have!!

    My grandmother was often in charge of making the pot pies, though as a little girl I tried my best in participating by insisting using the rolling pin to roll out my grandmother's homemade crust!! I always needed my grandmother's final touches though!! I think if my grandmother was around today she would just love this recipe you have posted on your blog...and would be thrilled with the onion ice cube shortcut... Although a traditionalist, she was always open to new ideas that saved time and money and were so convenient!! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. What a nice story, Donna. Thanks for sharing. I'm not sure she'd be thrilled with my cheater pie crust (I know my mother-in-law isn't! LOL) but it's nice to hear, thank you. ☺

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  17. I love the onion cubes and you are right works great with peppers too, but dont forget celery. I make mixed celry/onion cubes from time to time to use around the holidays in my cornbread dressing. By the time I have covered all personal events and filled all of my orders I make about 20 turkey roasting pans full of dressing. Having the oninons and celery already done is such a time saver!
    The chicken pie recipe looks so yummy, I know what I am making for dinner. My husband is going to think I worked so hard and I dont think Im going to give up the secret quite yet, lol. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

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    1. LOL, good for you. Make it look like you worked over a hot stove all day! Enjoy. :)

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  18. First of all, this recipe lookls amazing. But I also am impressed with the idea of onion cubes. BRILLIANT!

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  19. Sounds good...going to have to convince my Wife to make this for me. I'm usually microwaving pot pies from the grocers freezer.

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    1. Thanks Mike. How about you take a stab at making it for your wife? You can even buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, frozen carrots and it's all done for you, some assembly required. :o

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    2. I more of a grilling kind of guy, but Mothers Day is coming up. Maybe I can get the kids to help? Hmmmm.....

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    3. I'm so impressed that you're going to give it a try and I'll bet your wife will be too! Let me know how it goes over with the entire family, Mike. That's a really thoughtful idea, the kind mothers will always remember. And very adventurous, not only for stepping away from your comfort zone in front of the grill, but for bringing your kids into the kitchen with you. Bravo!

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  20. Thanks for your chicken pot pie recipe. I've been looking for a good one! I also sincerely appreciate your previous post detailing why water is so important to chickens. It makes changes the waters a couple of times a day in the summer a little easier ;)

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    1. Thanks for saying so. It's nice to know it helped. :)

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  21. I think I will try this for mothers day thanks alot. I will go pick this stuff up at the grocery. I just can't seem to get up enough nerve to use one of my roosters then though I have to many. I would like to try free range meat sometime but maybe someone who lives near me that does not have a problem with that kinda stuff

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  22. This looks easy to do and sounds delicious,I like the tip for onion cubes ,thanks for sharing the pot pie recipe.

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  23. crochetforewe5/16/12, 8:08 PM

    My dad is coming to town! This looks great, may make it for him while he's here!
    Thanks!

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    1. Have a wonderful visit & I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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  24. Bismah Abdelgawad8/12/13, 1:46 AM

    This looks so good!
    New follower via "Let's Get Social Sunday".
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.
    Bismah @
    http://simplemamaathome.blogspot.com/

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