Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Potpie

One of my favorite comfort foods for the winter months is chicken potpie, and this recipe is beyond amazing! I took some help from the grocery store for this recipe, using store bought pie crust and frozen veggies. It's the perfect dinner for a large group, because it makes a ton!  You can separate it into two potpies, or as I did, use a very large casserole dish to make one single potpie. 


Prep Time: 1 hour/ Bake Time: 40 Minutes/ Serves 8-10 




Ingredients: 

  • 4 chicken breasts 
  • 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 medium chopped onion 
  • 1 bag frozen family size mixed vegetables 
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme 
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 pre-made uncooked pie crusts (4 if making 2 pies)



Method:

  • Place potatoes in large saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender but still firm, about 8-10 minutes. 
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and bake 30 minutes or until done. Shred and set aside. 

  • In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions until translucent. Slowly whisk in the flour to create a roux. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook flour and butter mixture for about a minute on medium heat. 
  • Slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, or until thick, then reduce to simmer. 

  • Add frozen veggies, potatoes and shredded chicken.

  • Line a greased casserole dish with one pie crust and push up the sides until it reaches the top.

  • Pour chicken mixture into the dish and cover with second crust. Use a fork to pinch off the excess crust around the edges to seal and create a decorative finish. 

  •  Cut three slits in the top crust to let steam escape. Cover edges of crust with foil to prevent edges from burning. 

  • Bake at 425º for 40 minutes. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving. 




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Texas Flour Tortillas!

Adapted from: Homesick Texan 


The passion that started this blog. After my three year long search for a Tex-Mex style tortilla in Chicago, I finally gave-up and decided to research how to make my own (I'm not sure why I never thought of it before, I love to cook and bake!). I came across this recipe from the above blog, a woman with a story similar to mine, and couldn't be more thrilled! I have tried making them several ways: rolling them out small, medium and large. I find for the most authentic tortillas it is best to use a tortilla press, but a rolling pin works just fine. Here is my take on the delicious recipe, enjoy! 


Ingredients: 

  • Two cups of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cups of warm milk



Method:

  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
  • Slowly add the milk (I find the best way to warm it is in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes).
  • Mix together until a sticky dough ball is formed. 
  • Remove ball of dough and knead for two minutes on a floured surface (wooden cutting board works best here).

  • Place dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or damp paper towel for 30 minutes. It is very important to let the dough rest or it will be very elastic and difficult to roll out. 

  • Separate the large dough ball into 8* smaller dough balls (easiest to remove the dough and cut into 8 even pieces then roll each into a ball).

  • Let the dough rest another 10-15 minutes under a damp cloth. 


  • This is where you can get creative with your rolling method: If rolling out the dough by hand, place an individual dough ball on a floured surface (keeping the other dough balls covered with the damp cloth), press out with your hand into about a 4-inch circle, then begin to roll until desired size and thickness.
  • In this post, I am using a tortilla press: Take an individual dough ball, leaving the others covered, dust with flour and press flat. Lay in the tortilla press and squish away, voila! Perfectly shaped and flattened tortilla. 


  • After rolling or pressing each tortilla, place in a dry cast iron or non stick skillet, heated on high. Cook the tortilla about 30 seconds on each side (it will puff a little on the top when the first side is done) 

  • Place in napkins or tortilla warmer to keep warm until ready to serve. 

  • I find the best way to store them is in a tortilla warmer, wrapped in paper towel, or wrapped in aluminum foil. 



And that's it. Homemade, delicious, authentic Texas flour tortillas! Although it does take a lot of time, most of it is waiting time for the dough to rest, and it is absolutely worth the wait! 


*8 tortillas with be quite thick depending on what you like, you make the recipe into 16 for a thinner tortilla. 

PRINTABLE RECIPE