Thursday, July 29, 2010

My First Cooking Success

I'm going to bring you back to the first meal I felt I cooked successfully. I'm talking about my mini chicken pot pies - and this is what I once cooked for me and my old roommate Laurie.

Laurie was my second roommate out of college. When I lived with my first, in a different apartment, I was still eating mostly boxed foods like PastaRoni, Macaroni and Cheese or frozen meals. In fact, I was dubbed "carb queen" at work because my leftovers usually consisted of leftover PastaRoni or something like that. But when I moved in with Laurie I started doing a little bit more. Not much - there was still a lot of cereal to be eaten, frozen meals in the freezer and easy mixes to make. But I remember using one of her cookbooks and making chicken finger parm. Hey - it was a start! Haha.

Well, something compelled me to make mini chicken pot pies. I don't even know how I found the recipe, but I made them. Here are the ingredients:
1 package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry shells
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Some chopped onion (to taste - whatever you like)
1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 10 ounce package of frozen vegetables - whatever mix you like, but try to go for tiny cuts
2 cups cooked cubed chicken

First, cook the package of puff pastry shells.... or just a few. I usually make about 6 out of the 10 because that's all we eat immediately. I freeze whatever amount of the filling is left to use another week. Or, I put the leftover filling in the fridge and eat it over white rice - it's really yummy!!

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender.

Stir the soup, milk and frozen vegetables in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Spoon the chicken mixture into the pastry shells.

I usually make rice (used to be white but now have migrated toward brown) on the side since I load my shells up with veggies. Sometimes I make stuffing. (In the picture, I have stuffing on the plate)

The whole process takes about 40 minutes but it's really good. I've also used Puff Pastry Sheets lately if I didn't have shells in the house. To do this, I let them thaw and cut them into squares that I mold into muffin baking sheets. Then I put the filling in the cups and fold the edges of the pasty sheets up to they meet on top and tuck everything in as best I can. It's a little trickier to do it this way but it will work.
If I do use the pasty sheets I also make an egg wash to brush over the top to hold it together better.

Anyway, so Laurie dubbed my meal good and I even made it for another friend who is a total foodie. He seemed to enjoy it but maybe he was just being polite because he had a crush on me. Who knows!



  1. I owned a cookbook? Well that was probably the first time that was opened. :-)

  2. Yeah you had a few that were all geared toward people living on their own for the first time and cooking easy. They were very slim paperback books :-)