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Tag Archives: i suck at cooking

Chicken Pot Pie

10 Feb

Time for another recipe! Well…it was sort-of a recipe, more like recommendations of ingredients with vague comments about how to put them together lol

I wanted to try making Chicken Pot Pie, the kind with the biscuits on top, but had no idea how. So I did what I always do, I YouTubed and Googled and came up with lots of recipes but also lots of questions.

All the recipes mentioned needing whatever quantity of cooked chicken, but none of them said how to cook the chicken. Am I supposed to bake it? Grill it? Boil it? Why don’t these recipes start with “Step 1: cook the chicken in such-n-such a manner”? Won’t the chicken cook when it is in the oven mixed with all the other ingredients?

That was my main line of confusion, so then I did what I always do when confused by recipes, I emailed my mom. I basically sent her the questions I typed in the above paragraph with a desperate plea for help.

She took pity on me, probably while shaking her head wondering how I function as an adult when left to my own devices, and replied with the tidbit of information that chicken pot pie is designed to use up left over chicken, which is why the recipes don’t say how to cook the chicken.

Oops!

Then she sent a recipe for chicken pot pie she has from a relative…

1 can mushroom or celery soup (Aunt Jude used one of each as she was making a 9 x 13 pan)
Cooked chicken, cubed
chopped onion, celery, mushrooms
frozen mixed vegetables, or left over veggies
seasonings
milk
Mix soup and small amount of milk in a large bowl. Stir in cooked chicken and chopped onion, celery and mushrooms, add frozen veggies (or a mix of frozen/left over veg) till you like the quantity. Pour into casserole dish, top with pastry lid. Bake at 375 for 25 mins, or until pastry looks cooked.
This is not a recipe!
This has vague measurements, and even vaguer details.  A small amount of milk? What is a “small amount”? When I asked her she said “until it looks right”. *rolls eyes*
And uh, hello, “seasonings”…what seasonings? Which ones? How much of each?
Some of us need a detailed road map when cooking and the above recipe was not that!
Not wanting to admit defeat I attempted to make the recipe, only smaller as I didn’t want endless left overs. I used one can of the mushroom soup, 1/4 of a can of milk, half a bag of mixed frozen veggies (Compliments brand, they are meant for soup so lots of celery, carrots, things like that), a bunch of shredded chicken that I bought from Safeway, and for seasonings I used parsley, oregano, basil, and jalapeno red pepper flakes…what can I say, I wanted a bit of a kick to the flavour.
The kick didn’t really happen, it is a bit bland but not in a bad way, which sounds weird I know. It actually ended up tasting fairly good, it isn’t pretty but oh well. It also isn’t some strongly flavoured dish but I don’t think it is supposed to be and maybe it wouldn’t taste like chicken pot pie if it was…deep thoughts to ponder on some other day lol
I didn’t make the biscuits, or give it a pastry top. I was going to make an individual biscuit using the two ingredient dough that has exploded in popularity all over the internet but was too lazy and didn’t lol I didn’t want to make the biscuits or pastry lid like on traditional pot pies because I thought they would get soggy after being on there for a while and since it is only me eating this thing I was betting on the leftovers lasting for days, and days, and then being frozen to last a little bit longer…and none of that made me feel confident in the biscuit life span. Go figure, I’m a bit of a cynic 😉
chicken pot pie
chicken pot pie 2
It turns out that the recipe that isn’t a recipe made a pretty good meal, that has fed me for daaaaays. Tomorrow will be my last serving of it and I’m gonna kinda miss it. I just might have to add this one in to my rotation of meals I make on a more regular basis…not that I actually have a list like that, but grown-ups seem to so maybe I should make a list…can putting “ordering pizza”on the top of a list like that count? Hmm…more deep thoughts to ponder… 😉
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My Attempt to Roast A Squash

24 May

The other night at work the chefs roasted butternut squash, I had a piece and it was amazing. After grilling the chef that was on that night on what to do I thought I might give it a try, at home, with only the cat to supervise me…it may not have been my best idea but the house is still standing so it couldn’t have been the worst! 😉

As those of you who have read past cooking posts know, I have a teeny tiny kitchen with nooooo counter space to speak of so my cutting board gets balanced on the edge of the counter that is at the front of the sink and the middle part of the sink, it is a wobbly, dangerous, stupid, place to put a cutting board, but generally my best option. I’m pretty sure one of these days I’m going to slice in to my finger *rolls eyes* Tonight, I dropped the knife and almost stabbed my foot, oops! But I didn’t! So I’m counting that as a win…

After deciding I wanted to keep my feet and fingers intact I managed to find a better balancing spot and proceeded to do as the chef instructed. He said to chop the top and the bottom off, then peel the squash, then cut it in half so the round bulb part is separate from the top column shaped part. Then I slice open the bulb part to dig out the seeds and cut the entire thing in to pieces sized however I want them to be sized.

butternut squash

I’d love to say it went as smooth as it sounds like it should have but well hey, it wouldn’t be my kitchen if that happened, right? 😉

I don’t know if it is my peeler, or my technique, or what, but peeling that squash was not an easy task. I ended up using my knife and hacking away at the outside so my poor squash looked not quite as attractive as one might imagine a peeled squash could look. Cutting the top and bottom off was fine, cutting the entire thing down the middle was a tad harder…that could be due to my knife being too small but let’s not get picky about these things, ok? Then there was the whole digging out all the seeds and gross stuff from the bulb section, ugh, I always dislike that part of dealing with a squash, so slimy, so squishy, so easy to have a knife slip because maybe I started using the knife without getting all the goo off my hand…but again with the being picky!

So eventually I get my chopped up butternut squash on the baking tray and now the easy part. I had some oil in a little dish and I got to use my oft neglected pastry brush to spread the oil on the squash, then I sprinkled some brown sugar over top. At this point, or at some point, maybe not this point, I kinda forgot (oops again!) I was also supposed to sprinkle pepper, salt, and a Club House vegetable seasoning on the squash but (1) I was too lazy to get the pepper (2) I don’t add salt to anything so that wasn’t gonna happen and (3) I tried to buy the seasoning but the store didn’t have any so I was crossing fingers it wasn’t an intricate part of making the squash taste good.

While all this was going on the oven was heating to 350, it was sitting at its temperature for quite a while because yeah, this whole prep thing didn’t go quickly *rolls eyes* so in went the tray and on went the timer. I was told ten minutes, maybe fifteen, would be needed, and to stab the squash with a fork to test it. Also to remember what the squash looked like at work and wait till my squash looked the same.

Well…um…yeah…something went a tad wrong there. For starters, at the ten minute mark it was nowhere near done, so back in it went, in the end I think it took 40 minutes or so. Which is unfortunate because I was super hungry so that 40 minutes felt like an eternity. Even after all that time it didn’t look the same as the squash at work but it passed the fork test and I wasn’t willing to wait any longer…impatient much?

Also, I think maybe I should have flipped it at some point? The sugar kinda melted down so it was on the tray, leaving the topside of the squash pieces bare. Which is fine, except the squash was basically sitting in a brown sugar and oil lake so when I took the squash pieces off the tray there were strings of sugar, like gooey strings you’d see on a caramel apple or, I dunno, a caramel filled chocolate…not that I don’t like sugar but what I was seeing seemed a tad excessive. The underneath side had a nice browning effect to it, thanks to sitting in the sugar, where as the top was the same colour as it started out as. Not as pretty as the roasted butternut squash at work. Then again, those chefs went to school for who knows how long, their food better look nicer than mine! 😛

butternut squash cooked

In the end it was edible, actually, it was more than edible, it tasted good. Not as good as what I was trying to recreate but that could be due to the lack of seasoning, or too much sugar, or the wrong cooking temp and time, or the simple fact that I made it…but it wasn’t so horrible that I won’t try again, and hopefully get better results next time!

Hey, don’t scoff, a girl can hope! 😛

 

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