Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recipe 12: Chicken Pot Pie

This past weekend I decided to make Pot Pie during one of our beer transfer sessions.  It was so good that I found myself craving it.  So it became the recipe of the week.  Here is the link to the recipe:


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


The first change that I made was in how I cooked the veggies and chicken.  Instead of boiling and simmering them in water I added chicken broth instead, just to add a little more flavor.  I also added 1 small potato cut into small pieces.
So the second change that I made was to increase the sauce.  I doubled everything.  This was because several user recommendations had said that the pie was a little dry.  I ended up not being able to use all of the sauce that my made, but there was only a little extra.  So I think doubling the sauce is still a good idea.

The third change was I replaced the celery seed with garlic salt.  I also added a bit more than 1/4 teaspoon.  It was more to taste.  So I just added it until I thought it tasted right.

The final change was to cook it at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until the crusts was brown. 

The Process

The first step was to cut up all the veggies and chicken.  The picture below shows the size of my potato pieces.

Then simmer everything together.  I just added chicken broth to cover, brought it to a boil and then simmered it.  When covered you have to be pretty careful with the temperature.  I had to pull it off the burner due to almost overflows a couple of times.
 Sprinkles was generally uninterested in the cooking process this week.  After running around meowing at me she decided to settle down.

I bought the Pillsbury roll out dough.  The first time I made this I used the frozen ready made pie crusts, but I wanted to see how these worked.  Either one is fine, but I think I prefer the rolled up ones as the pie plate can be a little deeper or bigger.

Here the sauce is being started with the onions and butter.  While I double most of the stuff for the sauce I did not totally double the butter.  I just used 1/2 cup (1 stick)

Sprinkles always likes when I open the cabinets while I cook so that she can crawl around and get into tight places, as seen below.

So once everything was ready, I placed the chicken and veggies in the pie plate.

Then I poured the sauce over it.  It was a little difficult to get the sauce exactly as thick as I would have liked.  You really have to be careful and add the milk and chicken broth pretty quickly and don't turn the heat down too much until it starts simmering.

Next I covered the Pot pie with the second crust and cut a few slices in it.

And 45 minutes later... it was done!  I got a little bit of leakage on this pie, I think because my pie plate was a 9.5 inch one and the dough was for a 9 inch plate.  Which made it harder to make sure that the dough was pinched together.

And here is a side view.
This dish was really really good and very simple to make.  I definitely recommend trying this out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recipe 11: Quinoa Chili

 I decided to try something slightly healthier and less meaty than my recipes so far.  I have read a lot about Quinoa, which is supposed to be kind of a super food and really good for you.  So I have always wanted to try something with Quinoa... and I saw this recipe which looked really good and had a ton of good reviews.

Thus, I made Quinoa Chili.  Here is the link


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (19 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, stir in the reserved quinoa and corn. Cook to reheat the corn for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro to serve.


I only made a few small changes to this recipe.  The first was that instead of boilding the quinoa in water I used Chicken Broth, just to add more flavor. The only other change that I made was to use canned corn instead of frozen corn.

The Process

This was not a recipe that Sprinkles appreciated much.  She was slightly interested in the Jalepenos as I chopped them up, but not much else.

The first step was to make the quinoa. Here it is starting up. 

This process required a lot of chopping. I had to use all of my knives and all of my cutting boards.  But eventually it was all ready.

By this time Sprinkles had  gotten on top of the cabinet where she could moniter everything and meow at me.

I first cooked the onions, shown below.

Then I added the other vegetables and the canned tomatoes and started cooking it.

Once the quinoa was ready I added that to the rest of the mixture.  The picture below was taken after adding the quinoa.

 After mixing everything together and letting it cook for a while, the chili was pretty much done.

The only thing left to do was to make cornbread!  My standard cornbread for chili is just Marie Callender's packaged cornbread.  It is simply to make and tastes great, especially with chili.

 I mixed up the cornbread as the chili was cooking and it was done at close to the same time.


I made up some honey butter for the cornbread.  Which is just some butter and honey melted together in the microwave, and then added cheese to the chili.
I have a chili that I typically make which has meat.  I really like that chili, and while I don't think the quinoa chili is really close to that, I do think that it was pretty good and it was much healthier. I was actually pretty surprised at how good it was.  While there was no meat in it, the quinoa definitely kind of made it meaty.  Overall it was a very good dish.