Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hot Chicken Sandwiches

So I roasted one big chicken one night early in the week, then had enough leftover cooked shredded chicken to make a Chicken Pot Pie and these sandwiches. Oh, and I made chicken stock out of the leftover chicken bones and used that in an awesomely spicy (and non-kid friendly) batch of Red Beans with andouille sausage over the weekend. I'd say that chicken was a great deal!

I've never tried anything like these Hot Chicken Sandwiches, but the original version used Cream of Mushroom soup and crushed buttery crackers. Since we are trying to eat less processed food, I tried to make a recipe similiar, but cut down on the processed ingredients.

I made my own buns, which was a treat by itself! My husband and I enjoyed the sandwiches, my oldest ate about half of a sandwich (I'll call that a victory) and my youngest just ate the bread.

Hot Chicken Sandwiches

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup crushed saltines

Melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the water and milk and stir constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Add the poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, soy sauce, stir to combine. Taste the sauce and see what else it needs - if the sauce is to your liking, add the chicken and cracker crumbs. Stir gently to combine (don't manhandle your chicken into mush) and heat until the mixture is heated through and bubbles again. Serve over spilt sandwich buns.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

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Chicken Pot Pie
recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman; here's the book it's from and the website recipe

1/4 cup butter
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth or water
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt (will probably need more to taste)
1/4 cup sour cream or heavy cream
1 pie crust, recipe follows below

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the celery, carrot, onion and peas. Saute over medium heat until the veggies are cooked through and the onions are translucent. Add the chicken, then flour and stir to combine and to cook the flour. Pour in chicken stock or water, stirring to keep the sauce smooth until it bubbles evenly. Season with thyme, pepper and salt. Taste it and see what else it needs needs.

Stir in the sour cream or cream until combined, the turn off the heat. You don't want the cream to get too hot at this stage and curdle. Pour into a greased deep dish pie plate (I love my Fiesta one my mother in law gifted me!) and allow the filling to cool while you make the pie crust.

Easy Pie Crust
From Very Best Baking by Nestle
Makes 1 crust

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter (about 2.75 oz total)

2-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Combine flour and salt in bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle with water until mixture holds together. Shape dough into ball; place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. 

Top pot pie filling with crust; tuck the hanging over edge under and crimp. Cut holes in the top of the crust to allow the filling to bubble out. Put pie plate on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over. Bake at 400º for 30 minutes. 

Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into.

Friday, November 7, 2014

At Home Rotissere Style Roasted Chicken

Rotisserie chickens from the store are so darn cheap, and I pick one up almost every time I hit Sam's. This recipe is an option for you if you are keeping away from MSG/who-knows-what-other-chemicals that are in store bought. I also buy whole chickens when they are on sale and freeze them so I always seem to have one on hand.

I've tried this as a slow cooker recipe, but I just didn't like the results. It wasn't the same as the rotisserie chicken from the store. It was a skin texture issue - the oven gets it crispy and crunchy, and the slow cooker skin was limp and rubbery. If you don't care about the skin or if you remove the skin before cooking anyway, try the slow cooker and see how it turns out for you! (Maybe 8 hours on Low would work as a conversion?)

Rotisserie Style Roasted Chicken
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 5-6 pound whole chicken

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Remove packaging from chicken and discard giblets from chicken. Place in a greased baking pan and sprinkle with spice mixture. Rub spice mixture to coat the whole chicken. Top with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4-6 hours or up to overnight. (I do mine right away in the morning, let it hang out in the frig until about 1:00ish when I put it in the oven.)

Remove chicken from frig and allow it to come up to room temperate - about 30 minutes before baking. Remove plastic wrap, the place chicken in a 250º preheated oven.

Bake uncovered for 5 hours or until chicken internal temperature hits 180º. Let chicken stand for 10 minutes before cutting.