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Recipe: Easy Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie

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Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner? Perhaps you’re the cook in the family, and you’re getting your menu ready. Or maybe, like me, you’ll take a small cooler when you visit family over the holiday, ready to bring back tasty leftovers.

Whatever your plans, this recipe is sure to make you happy! That’s because there’s nothing more comforting than a homemade pot pie on a cool night. Make it traditional with chicken, or use that Thanksgiving turkey. You can even make it gluten free! You just can’t go wrong with this one.

 

Ingredients 

1 rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 deep dish pie crusts, frozen
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3 Tbsp condensed chicken and herb soup
4 Tbsp condensed cream of potato soup
1 cup peas, carrots, and corn mixture (canned or defrosted)
1/4 cup half-and-half, cream, or milk
1 dallop sour cream
seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder)
chicken broth (add a little if the ingredients are too thick)

 

Preparation

Stir all ingredients together and then mix in the deboned chicken pieces. Let the pie crusts sit out for 1-3 minutes until they become malleable. Place one crust on the bottom of a deep baking dish. Don’t be afraid to tear apart the crust and reform it until it covers the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken and soup mixture and cover with the second pie crust.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until done and the crust is slightly browned.

This makes one large pot pie or multiple smaller pies (which are great for sharing!).

[Click to Tweet: Easy chicken (or turkey) pot pie! #comfortfood for #thanksgiving2017 @bigsistertweets]

 

Kitchen Notes

Gluten Free Option – To make the chicken pot pie gluten free (GF), you’ll need to ensure each ingredient is GF, from the pie crusts to the soups. Our Publix doesn’t carry GF pie crusts, but I really like the ones at Earthfare.

The price of GF soups is ridiculous though (at over $3 a can!), and they don’t have the same flavor or consistency that I’m used to. I just use the same Campbell’s soups Mom always used, even though they do contain wheat flour as a thickener. Since this is the only time I knowingly cheat on my GF diet, and I don’t have celiac disease, this doesn’t pose a serious problem for me. However, if you need to make this GF, you’ll have to splurge on the soups or make your own from scratch.

 

The Chicken (or Turkey) – I use organic rotisserie chickens from Earth Fare because they’re only $5 on Mondays. However, any rotisserie chicken will do fine. You can even substitute turkey if you have some leftover from Thanksgiving.

Deboning a chicken sounds daunting if you’ve never done it before and, even if you have, it’s never fun—but it’s not a complicated process. Simply place the rotisserie chicken on a non-stick cutting board. (I use plastic for easy clean-up.) Using a knife, remove the skin and legs. Then remove the breasts and other large chunks of meat. You can then use a knife or fork to remove the smaller pieces of meat around the bone. Cut up the larger portions with the knife and shred with the fork for a finer texture. The trick is to do this while the chicken is still warm. If you put it in the fridge overnight, the fats will turn to gelatin, making this job a lot less appetizing.

 

Lunch for Tomorrow – Depending on the size of the chicken, you may be able to set aside a portion of it for later. I usually make some chicken salad for the next day’s lunch by adding mayonnaise, mustard, and seasoning. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

 

Broth for Later – Nothing is healthier than homemade chicken broth, especially if you use an organic chicken. If you’d like to make your own, simply put the bones, skin, and “icky” pieces in a crock pot. Add a little onion, seasoning, and water, and cook on low for about six hours (depending on your crock pot’s heat level). Keep in mind that the more water you add, the more broth you’ll make, but the more diluted the flavor will be.

Once it’s cooked, let it cool. Using a strainer, pour out the broth. If you plan to use the broth over the next few days, keep it in the fridge. If not, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Four cubes is roughly 1/4 cup of broth. (If you want more broth, you can repeat this process the next day using the same bones and skin, but there will be less flavor.)

Do you have any tips for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Share them in the comments below!

Blueberries: From Picking to Eating

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Muffins

This past month marked the height of blueberry season here in North Florida. We have three bushes in our yard, but the late frost killed most of the berries on the vine. Fortunately, we found a u-pick blueberry farm right outside of town.

Picking

Robby went to school with Jen, who owns Myrtle Creek Farm along with her husband Scott. It was nice to visit with them and see their beautiful farm, filled with blueberry trees, blackberry bushes, and even a pear tree. They lost a lot of berries to the late frost this year, too, but they still had plenty for us to pick!

Even though we have our own blueberry trees, Jen told me something I never knew: they only ripen on the vine. That means you have to pick them at their peak (dark blue). If you pick them early (when they’re still pinkish), they won’t continue to ripen on the counter or in the fridge. Their technique? “Tickle” the berries. If they fall off the vine, they’re sweet and ready to eat.

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Now, Robby and I can’t possibly eat two quarts of berries before they go bad, so we freeze them to enjoy throughout the year. The trick to this is to lay the berries on a small sheet pan and then set the pan in the freezer. That way, each berry will freeze individually, and you won’t end up with a solid mass of blue ice. Once frozen, scoop the berries into freezer-safe bags and return them to the freezer.

Mary Frances’ Cobbler

Cobbler

Nothing beats my mother-in-law’s cobbler. Seriously, I can eat so much of this stuff that I make myself sick. It’s that good.

When I stopped eating wheat, one of the first things I did was figure out how to make this cobbler gluten-free. The good news is that it’s easily altered, and it tastes even better without wheat flour!

Click here to download a printable recipe card.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

My new favorite muffin is banana-blueberry. They have just the right amount of sweetness, and they smell like heaven when they’re heated up. If you don’t have time to make these from scratch, there are some great mixes available. I’ve tried a couple gluten-free options, and both were delicious.

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The King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Muffin Mix is a basic vanilla mix, but it has a great flavor. You’ll need to add one or two soft bananas and a cup of blueberries. The batch always makes several more muffins than it promises, which is really nice. If you prefer, you can use a small loaf pan instead of muffin cups.

Robby recently picked up a box of Simple Mills Banana Muffin & Bread Mix. It has far less carbs than the King Arthur mix because it uses coconut sugar. In total, the mix has only seven ingredients, including dried bananas. Just mix in a few blueberries. I got 11 nice-sized muffins out of this mix.Muffin_SM_1

If you have leftover muffins—and that’s a big IF—throw them in a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze them for later. They’re great for breakfast or dessert!

Do you have a blueberry recipe you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments.

Thank you!

Recipe: Sausage Alfredo (Gluten-Free)

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Sausage Alfredo with gluten-free lasagna noodles. We’re going to try linguine next time.

 

Every once in a while, I get a hankering for Alfredo sauce—not the slimy kind that comes from a jar, but Mom’s can’t-get-enough homemade Alfredo. For years, the idea of making a cream-based sauce seemed daunting, right up there with homemade biscuits. But my craving overcame my fear last month, and I gave it a shot. I’m so glad I did!

The following recipe for Sausage Alfredo is actually my own creation. I compiled several different recipes, keeping the ingredients I liked and substituting the ones I didn’t. Of course, Mom gets all the credit for the Alfredo sauce.

I think you’ll agree, the result is a meal worthy of a Saturday night but easy enough for the roughest Monday.

 

Ingredients:

1 Package of mild, cooked sausage (I like turkey kielbasa.)
Capers (to taste)
Noodles (I use gluten-free linguine.)
Tomatoes (either fresh, halved cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes)
Other options: Matchstick carrots, sliced bell peppers, black olives

 

Ingredients for Alfredo sauce:

½ Cup – 1 Cup of Half-and-Half
2 Tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese (fresh, grated)
Chili powder (1 or 2 dashes; you don’t want to taste it)

 

Directions:

Boil water for the noodles.

At the same time, cut up the sausage and brown in a skillet. Once browned, remove the sausage and set aside.

To maximize flavor, make the Alfredo sauce in the same pan you browned the sausage. Simply add the ingredients together and heat while stirring, careful not to burn the sauce. Once it is heated through, add the capers and continue to heat while stirring. Then add the browned sausage and mix together. Continue to heat while stirring.

Once the noodles are cooked, add them to the sausage and sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese to taste, and top with fresh tomatoes. Serve immediately.

I do hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it yourself and find new ways to make it, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.