Thursday, February 8, 2018

One Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

I know it's been a while since I posted, I have been so busy!  My kids were sick, we've been super busy at work, plus it's Mardi Gras!  When you're busy and need a comforting meal that's really easy, this hits the spot.

A Cast iron skillet is perfect for this recipe.  If you don't have one, any oven-proof skillet will work.  If you don't have that, you can start it in a skillet then transfer it to a pie plate before baking.  So, there is no excuse not to make this!



ONE SKILLET CHICKEN POT PIE

2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 a small onion, diced
1 12 oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 TBS oil
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
salt/pepper/Cajun seasoning
1 refrigerated pie crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of oil, about 1 TBS.


Season the chicken with Cajun Seasoning (or salt and pepper) and add to the hot skillet.


Brown on all sides.


Remove the browned chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Add the diced onions to the skillet.  Cook for a few minutes until softened.


Add the frozen mixed vegetables and stir every few minutes until thawed.



Add 2 TBS butter.  Stir.


Sprinkle in 2 TBS flour.


Stir the flour in thoroughly.  Let the flour cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.


Add the chicken broth and the milk.



Stir well.


Season with salt and pepper.


Return the chicken to the skillet.


Stir well.


Place the pie crust on top.


Pinch the edges to make it look pretty.


Use a knife to cut a few small slits in the crust.  This lets steam escape and keeps the crust nice and flat.



Brush a little milk on top of the pie crust.  This helps it to brown nicely.


Place the skillet on a baking sheet just in case it bubbles over.  Don't want to dirty your oven!


Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.  Seriously, it needs to rest so it can set up.  Otherwise it will just run all over the place when you cut it.


This is such a comforting dish.  The flaky crust, tender chicken and sweet veggies make a filling, yummy supper.  And best of all?  Only one skillet to clean!



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Baked Chicken with Peppers and Onions

It's been crazy cold here in South Louisiana.  Like, really, crazy cold.  It actually snowed twice this winter.  That's rare around these parts.  Needless to say, I was looking for ways to warm up.  Cooking is my favorite way to heat up the house.  Because it's followed by a warm meal.  Here's an easy recipe you can make in the oven to warm up your kitchen on a cold day.




BAKED CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS

6-8 bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 a bell pepper, diced
vegetable oil
salt/pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
dried basil
dried oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle a little oil in a large baking dish.  Add chicken.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and oregano.



Add the diced bell pepper and onions.



Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked through.  The peppers and onions cook down and make the oil really flavorful.


Spoon the peppers, onions and oil over the chicken before serving.



This chicken is tender and juicy and so yummy.  Plus, it is super easy to make.  Give this a try the next time you want to warm up your kitchen.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

It's New Year's Eve and while most people are getting ready for a night on the town, I'm getting ready for a night in my pjs with a cup of hot chocolate.  We had fun hanging out with old friends last night, so tonight I'm taking it easy. 

I thought I'd share a recipe with you that's perfect for taking to a party or to make as an easy side dish with dinner.  It's really yummy and is always a hit.




BROCCOLI RICE AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

1 small bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 stick butter (or margarine)
1 onion, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cooked rice (great use for leftovers)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or colby jack)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter until soft, about 10 minutes.



Add the frozen chopped broccoli and stir until thawed (I had florets so I just chopped them up once thawed).



Add the soup and milk and stir well.




Stir in the cheese until melted, then add the rice.  Stir well.




Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Stir well.


Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly.


Top with a little more shredded cheese, if desired.


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and browned.


This casserole is super easy and super tasty.  If you want to make it completely vegetarian, just substitute cream of broccoli soup for the cream of chicken. 

Whether you are going out tonight or staying in, like me, enjoy your night.  I wish a very Happy and Healthy New Year!  May 2018 be a blessing to us all!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Make Ahead Sugar Cookies

The holidays are great, but can be hectic.  Shopping, parties, pot lucks, wrapping gifts, it can be overwhelming.  That's why I like to make things ahead of time, if at all possible.  I'm hosting two separate parties this year.  That's a lot of prep.  I'm managing it all by doing whatever I can early so that the day of the party runs smoother.  One example is a cookie platter.  I like to make a variety of cookies to set out but that can be a lot of work.  So, when I get a free day, I make some dough, divide it up and freeze it.  Then, all I have to do is place and bake. 



MAKE AHEAD SUGAR COOKIES

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream the softened butter and sugar together well (that just means use a mixer on medium to high speed to beat them together until no longer gritty).

Add the egg and vanilla.  Mix well.

Stir in the flour until fully incorporated but don't over mix or the cookies will be tough.

Roll pieces into small balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet (I like to use a small scoop so that the cookies are uniform in size).



Once the cookie sheet is full, place in the freezer for 45 minutes.  This lets the cookies freeze individually, so they won't clump together in the freezer bag.  (But don't leave them in the freezer unwrapped too long or they can get freezer burnt).

Next, place them into a labelled freezer bag and return to the freezer.  Now they are ready and waiting when you need them.



TO BAKE THEM:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet (I like to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper to ensure they don't stick). 

You can either make a crisscross pattern with a fork dipped in sugar or flatten the dough balls with a glass dipped in sugar.








You can add sprinkles or colored sugars before baking.





Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.  Don't over bake them! 




Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are crispy on the bottom, fluffy on the inside, buttery and sweet, but not too sweet.  Everything a cookie should be!  Perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee!




As you can see these are easy and convenient to make ahead.  Plus, they are yummy!  Simple sugar cookie goodness,  Make these ahead and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!