Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken, part 2

Deputy Handsome has made it clear to me on multiple occasions that he could eat chicken and Rice-A-Roni every day of the week and be perfectly happy. As pleased as I am to indulge him every once in a while, my palate craves more variety. But one dish we can both agree on is the Tex Mex Chicken and Rice casserole from the new Better Homes & Garden cookbook (the red and white checkered one. your mom or grandmother probably has one of the early editions. I got my newer one at Costco a few years back). It is a cinch to make with precooked chicken from your crockpot! 

Other favorite make-ahead uses for the chicken I cooked yesterday are Rachel Ray's Buffalo BBQ Casserole with Corn Bread (I leave out the blue cheese) and also chicken pot pie!! I guess if Deputy Handsome wanted some variety, his second choice in life is chicken pot pie so I have experimented with a lot of different variations and our favorite one is based off Kenny Shopsin's version from his book "Eat Me." Here is the recipe as I make it: 

6 tablespoons of butter
1 chopped onion
2 baked potatoes, skin removed, flesh crumbled
2-4 chopped carrots
2 chopped zucchini (Shopsin's original recipe called for mushrooms, but we are anti)
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock (more or less, depending on how large your vegetables are)
2 cups mixed frozen veggies (I usually use a corn and peas)
2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

melt butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. add onion, potato, carrot and zucchini and cook until onion is soft. add flour and cook until it disappears into the butter. Add the chicken stock gradually. Stir in frozen veggies, chicken, milk and nutmeg. If it looks to thin, cook for a few minutes to reduce liquid, if it looks too thick, add more stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour into an 8x8 casserole dish. (to make ahead, transfer filling to something that fits in your fridge. on the day you want to eat it, transfer to the casserole before adding the topping. cook time remains the same.)

stir together 1 cup Bisquick, 1/2 cup milk and one egg. pour over chicken mixture and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

I use the Bisquick toping because it is cheap and fast. You could also use puff pastry sheets if you are feeling fancy! To use an actual pie crust, I've found that this recipe needs two in order to fit all the filling. 

So you could easily make all three of these recipes using the meat from two whole chickens (and the stock! coincidence that each recipe calls for chicken stock?) and since each is a completely different flavor, it wouldn't be boring to eat chicken every night. This is a totally make-ahead weeks worth of food for a family with one or two small children because there are bound to be leftovers, especially if you make the meals a little healthier with a side of veggies or fruit salad. 

No comments:

Post a Comment