Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cluck Cluck - two meals, one chicken

I just put my chicken in the crockpot (I have the bigger oblong one so it fits nicely) with some Johnny's Season Salt and Celery Salt.  Tonight it will be made into Chicken Pot Pie and tomorrow after the stock chills and the fat is skimmed off the top it will be Chicken Noodle Soup.  Both are easy meals that my kids love.

When chicken is done scoop (and I mean scoop because after crockpotting for a few hours it will fall apart) it onto a baking tray with edges.  Then go through the messy process of picking the meat off the bone.  I keep a bowl for the meat and leave all the skin and bones on the tray.  The edges keep the stock from dripping all over the counter.

Poor the stock from the crock pot into a glass container.  I use a quart mason jar simply because the screw on lids prevent spilling and it takes up less surface room in my fridge.  Then dump the guts/skin/bones back into the crock pot with a quart of water and let it simmer the rest of the flavor while you finish the pot pie (and eat).  This will give you extra stock for soup tomorrow.  When you are done with dinner strain the stock off the chicken guts, add to existing stock, cover and refrigerate till tomorrow.

Chicken Pot Pie
Crust, Meat, Vegetables, Sauce, Topping

Crust - Not a skill I have.  Mine did not turn out well.  Link to the recipe. 
Omit sugar for non-sweet pies.  Make sure the water is icy and the butter chilled.

Filling - I used half of the chicken and added vegetables that we had on hand.
  Frozen Peas and Corn 1cup each
  Parboiled diced potatoes (2 red) and sliced carrots (3 avg. size)
  Diced Onion - to taste
  Celery is popular, but I don't like the texture, so I use celery salt.

Sauce - 1 can Cream of Chicken soup with 1/2 cup of chicken stock, season to taste.

Topping -  You can use a top crust and vent it, but I don't do crust well, so I used Panko.
  2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  1-2 Tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  Parmesan cheese if desired
Mix it all together - super easy.

Layer it all in the pie crust and bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes, top should be golden brown.

If you have leftover pie crust I sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar and bake it flat on a sheet at 425* for 8-10 minutes

I had such a rough time making the crust that by the time it was done we ate it and rushed the kids to bed, no finished picture... Sorry.

Chicken Noodle soup
 Chicken, Stock, Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Noodles

Remove from fridge, skim solidified fat from top.  Dump into pot. Begin to heat on medium

Chicken - chop remaining chicken and add to stock.

Vegetables - I use carrots and if I am in a Mean mood I add potatoes, Little Buddy HATES potatoes.  Again, I use Celery salt instead of Celery as crisp celery is bad enough
3-5 carrots depending on how much you are making
2-3 potatoes (depending...)
Add to pot a couple minutes before the noodles.  As it simmers, you can taste the stock.  Add bullion or your favorite soup base, seasoning, and my favorite..  Celery Salt (it really is yummy)

Noodles - I use this recipe.
I make lots of noodles because my kids like them, and so do I.  They are yummy!  I use my Kitchen-Aid Mixer with the paddle attachment.
I also cut them with a pizza cutter, the lines aren't as straight, but it is faster than a knife.  I have used a pasta machine, it yields more uniform results but is much more work.

When soup is tasting as you would like it too, bring it to a boil, add noodles and let them cook.  Then serve (cool a bit) and eat!


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