The Devastate Boredom approach to La Casserole involves minimal pots and pans, and capitalizes on the great value of a meal capable of absorbing this, that, and even leftovers, and still turning out a tasty whole with hardly any time invested. Casseroles done right are a thing of beauty, and the difference can be as simple as substituting Rotel for ordinary tomatoes and tossing in a few pinches of extra seasoning to seal the deal from there.
The Boyfriend and I have done a good bit of tinkering with different casseroles over the past few months, but today's Cooking Lesson for Justin will focus on our newest favorite... the hardiest, most delicious chicken pot-pie ever tossed together in a mere fifteen minutes.
Fascinating Pot-Pie Step-by-Step
First, you will need these things:
- 1 rotisserie chicken (try to choose a basic flavor, since barbecue or lemon might clash with the seasonings you'll be adding later)
- 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4th cup water
- red pepper
- powdered mustard
- curry madras
- 1 tube refrigerated biscuits
First, shred the chicken. Wash your hands and dive right in; it will only take a few minutes. Then, mix up all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. (You're practically done already)
The one part you'll have to think about a little is the spices... Andrew and I did roughly a teaspoon of each with an extra sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper as a finishing touch, but you probably will want to vary it up depending on your personal flavor preferences. It's flavorful with even just a single teaspoon of red pepper, but the curry and mustard add extra levels of complexity that you really shouldn't miss if you're looking for a fascinating pot-pie.
Once you've mixed all that together, plop in a Pyrex and smoosh it flat. Don't forget to spray the pan with cooking oil first so your dinner won't stick or burn!
You might notice that we haven't yet done anything with the tube of biscuits. Pop them out and stick them on a baking sheet, lining it with foil or parchment paper just to make clean-up that much easier.
Put both the Pyrex with the chicken pot-pie concoction AND the baking sheet with the biscuits into the oven at 400 degrees. The biscuits will be done in about 10-15 minutes, but you might want to leave the casserole filling in a little longer depending on how soupy it looks at this point.
Keep in mind that all you're really doing is thawing the vegetables and heating everything up together so the flavors meld, so once its hot and looks good go ahead and pull it out and put the biscuits on top. If the biscuits have had time to get cold, heat it a few minutes longer.
Break up the biscuits and mix well. The end result: Delicious chicken pot-pie, and a casserole that's anything but boring.
Like I said before, the beauty of casseroles lies in their flexibility, so you can change this recipe up as much as you like. Instead of rotisserie chicken, leftover grilled chicken could work beautifully, and instead of the curry you could substitute anything from Italian seasoning to sauteed onions. You could use fresh vegetables, or even canned, but don't forget to drain them in that case!
Your kitchen tip for this Tuesday is: Never use salt. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, such as in baking and when cooking pasta (my favorite cooking show recommended that pasta water be "as salty as the sea") but by-and-large you can make salt completely unnecessary simply by taking full advantage of the wide range of flavors and spices available to us in a cosmopolitan, global cooking scene. Curry tends to be a favorite of ours... We've used it in everything from today's pot-pie, to chicken salad sandwiches, to popcorn seasoning. Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, rosemary, etc, are also a great way to layer flavoring without resorting to piling on the sodium. My favorite basic guide for what spices are compatible with what foods is an old post from Trent over at The Simple Dollar called 10 Herbs and Spices That Will Make Simple Foods Pop so be sure to print that out and take it with you if you're still finding your way around the spice isle. You'll be glad you did!
Check out more Kitchen Tip Tuesday ideas over at Tammy's Recipes! She has a great trick for keeping pots from boiling over, which is perfect for a distractable cook like me...