Campbell’s Chicken Pot Pie Recipe is Easy and Tasty too

I’ve been on a Pot Pie kick lately.  Mind you, being from the Delaware Valley and Philadelphia region,
apparently we have a different way of doing this.  You folks think that a Pot Pie – chicken, beef, pork, what have you, should be a pastry shell covered with a filling inside that is soupy and savory.

Nope.

In Philly, they make it thick.  It should be roughly a pudding consistency.  It may run out, but slowly.  Think of “regular” yogurt (not the Greek kind), or a good vanilla pudding.  Not solid, but not liquid.  Gelatinous almost.

That’s what I wanted.   After getting some of those 95 cent single serving microwave pot pies and being disappointed in them, I decided to make a Proper Pot Pie.

I also wanted a roast chicken dinner that weekend, so we had that first.

You see, the filling in a pot pie should be cooked properly first.  Well done, but tender.   Cooking a roast chicken with stuffing to 165F internal temperature was perfect.

Then after it has been enjoyed, pull off all the meat.  Separate and reserve 2 cups of chicken chunks for the filling then go to the store.

So here is how to go about the rest – easily!   What makes it so easy is that I’m using precooked and already prepared items to make this.  Basically you are “assembling” it more than cooking it!

Like I said, EASY but you do have to head to the supermarket for some items.

You will need some mixed vegetables.  Traditionally it is Carrots, Potatoes, Peas, String Beans, and perhaps Onions.  I found a can of the stuff and thought that would be great.  Mixed Vegetables.  You see, if they aren’t precooked, then you may find yourself having crunchy vegetables in your pot pie.  That’s never good – so get yourself at around 12 ounces or one can of either frozen or canned mixed vegetables.  Your choice.

Make sure you have 1/2 cup of milk in the house.

Next, find yourself some proper soup for the filling.  The recipe says condensed Cream of Chicken Soup.  You want that to be thick right? It can be fat free if you prefer, and it can also be low sodium.  We went that route since I simply don’t prefer a lot of salt in my meal.
Pick up some pre-shredded Cheddar Cheese for the filling.  I always look for the lowest salt in this too, again that is my own preference.  Make sure that it is at least 1 cup in the bag, although most packaged shredded cheese packs are 2 cups.

Finally, since we said easy, we need one box of refrigerated pie crust.  The Pastry kind that comes with two crusts per box.  Making pie crust is really quite easy and takes a little time and care, but this is “bachelor chow” – so easy that anyone can do it.

The preparation of this is a lot more simple than you would think, but you do have to make that pie crust.

Trust me it’s just as good the second day.  It’s a great way to use up leftovers, and works well with turkey or even tofu if you can find a vegetarian creamed soup and want to experiment.

Per Campbells soup, here is the recipe:

Ingredient list:

  • 1 package (about 14 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts) at room temperature.
  • 1 Can (10 3/4 ounces) of Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or Condensed Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken – can be canned or leftover.
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen (or canned) mixed vegetables, thawed.  Carrots, Green Beans, Corn, Peas etc.
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (about 4 ounces by weight)

Process (Per Campbells):

  • Heat oven to 400F.
  • Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate with one pie crust. Trim excess.
  • Stir the soup, milk, chicken, and vegetables in a medium bowl.
  • Spoon the chicken mixture into the pie plate.
  • Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese.
  • Place the remaining Pie Crust over the filling.
  • Trim any excess.
  • Crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut several slits in the top crust.
  • Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  • Sprinkle the crust with the remaining cheese.

Now They Want Us To Stop Washing Chicken Since It Spreads Infection

You always did it.
Mom taught you to do it.
Dad taught you to do it.
Maybe Home-Ec or a professional cooking school taught you to do it.

You pull the chicken out of the fridge, wash it well, then prepare it for cooking, right?

Nope.  The Food Standards Agency in the UK has found that you shouldn’t.

Here’s the back story.

The places that chicken is prepared, a slaughterhouse, are a pretty nasty environment.

Chickens are raised in cramped quarters so that you can have that drumstick at $.89 a pound. 

Yes, I blame you.  If you wanted “clean food” you will need to have a farm, and I don’t see a back to nature movement taking hold.  Plus farming is a difficult job, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it.

The chickens are in cages, and they tend to do what chickens do. 

Eat.  Sleep.  Poo.  Lay eggs.

You know, like normal, right?

All that poo gets on their feathers and on everything in the environment.

Once the chicken is killed to make that roaster you had on Sunday Dinner, the transformation to “meat” begins.  They remove the insides and are drained of blood.

Pretty grisly right?

Some of that poo is bound to get out.  Even if you were in a perfect environment, they still have to get the feathers off the bird, remove the legs, prepare the neck for soup.

Mmm chicken soup!

All the “innards” are packed up.  What can be salvaged will be used.   The intestines and other organs will be discarded.

Hopefully they can do all that in a perfect environment, but you know they don’t.

More poo on your chicken, even if it is invisible.

So you get it home to prepare it.

I know, let’s wash it, I’m sure there are icky things all over it. 

Well, you’re right there are, but what you just did was to contaminate your work surfaces.  There will be a mist of water that collected those nasties, the poo, and spray all over your counters.  How is your immune system anyway?  Got some good kitchen gloves?

What’s the solution?

If you don’t actually SEE anything on the bird, prepare it without washing.  You are apparently just wasting water anyway and you know nobody suggested you use soap and water to wash out food!

Make sure you cook it fully, 165F is the usual temperature.  Get an “instant read thermometer” and cook your roaster until the meat is at 165F in the thickest part of the bird, usually the breast. 

165F is the temperature that the USDA recommends.   It will kill “all” bacteria.  Even if you have a weakened immune system, you’re not going to get sick from that “dirty bird”.

Dirty bird served with stuffing, cranberry, mashed potato, and a slab of cake for dessert, I hope.

You could convince yourself that Vegetarian or Vegan foods are the answer, but this is not a very good reason for you to go Veg.  There are some other reasons and some are quite valid like lower cholesterol and so forth.  But cleanliness?  Nope.

After all, those “bad spots” Mom would cut out of that tomato that had been sitting there “too long” got bad because of, you guessed it, Bacteria.  How did that get on the tomato?  Handling or “fertilizer” from the chicken that went onto your neighbor’s table.  While you are at it, how about those pesticides?

Mmmm Chemicals!

So cook your food well – whatever food you choose to eat.  165F is best.  Get a good instant read thermometer and learn how to use it.

That’s your helpful hint for the day. 

Oh, and if you do have a roaster, a good set of kitchen shears will help you “portion pack” it in short order.  Just cut along the breast bone and the spine and it splits easily without using a dangerous knife.  Make sure when all is said and done, the counters get wiped down with a strong disinfectant. 

Clean that kitchen, folks, you don’t know where that chicken has been!

Crock Pot Curried Chicken Recipe

I was getting static about the chicken I had thawed.  Someone had had quite enough chicken lately and wanted nothing to do with my usual recipes.

No Caribbean Jerked Chicken?
No Barbecue Chicken?
No Grilled Chicken?

*Sigh* Ok, I’ll figure something out.

With the food that came into the house from all angles, plus the Manwich we made, the Chicken sat in the refrigerator one too many days.

I had to cook it, this was too much to waste and it was from a really good supplier.

I woke up that morning thinking I should just get the crock pot.  Rack, my dog, was hovering around his bowl and the crock pot caught my eye, just two shelves above it.

I threw this together in about 10 minutes, everything but the chicken took me all of about 3 minutes.   I was able to get my coffee done in the interim.

If you’re not into Chicken and are one of my Vegetarian friends, and you know who you are, this can easily be made with Tofu, Smoked Tofu, Quorn, or a suitable substitute.

I will say that when I had it for lunch instead of dinner, it was excellent.  So much so that I brought a bowl over to the neighbors and I don’t think it lasted past the time it took me to walk across the street!  Seeing that this was a “Mild Curry”, the next time I do make this, I will double the curry powder to two tablespoons – personal preference.  One Tablespoon is a good first try for most.

Now, while it looks like “ABC Food”, you know Already Been Chewed?, it tasted great!

The ingredients are:

For the first step

  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Curry Powder – or to taste.  1 Tablespoon is mild or just “Savory”.
  • A dusting or pinch of garlic powder to taste.
  • A dusting or pinch of “Chicken Seasoning” to taste.
  • Dehydrated Onion Flakes to taste (Optional)
  • 2 to 3 Pounds Chicken chunks 

For the Second Step:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 Can Kernel Corn

For when you unplug your crock pot and are just about ready to serve:

  • 1 Can String Beans

Why do I make it complicated by breaking it into three steps?   Simple, I like crunchy vegetables.  String beans in the can turn into mush if you cook them too long, and every veg I have ever found in a can was precooked.

Yes, you can eat kernel corn uncooked out of the can in an emergency.   Or so I have been told.   Same with Green Beans… and of course your mileage may vary so read your can first.

The Process:

To your Crock Pot, add the following ingredients in order:

  • Cream of Chicken Soup, Water, Curry Powder, Garlic Powder, Chicken Seasoning, Onion Flakes.
  • Stir the ingredients up until you get a good even mix.
  • Add the chicken chunks and mix again to coat everything.

Plug in your crock pot and turn it on for low at the short time setting.  Mine has a setting for 8 hours and I was finished early.

Chicken is cooked at 165F according to the USDA.  I found that my chunks were cooked after 4 hours to 180F, but your time will vary depending on the wattage of your crock pot.   Check the temperature of your chunks with an instant read thermometer at 3 1/2 hours and every 15 to 30 minutes or so after.  Or if you trust your crock pot… don’t!  Personally I hate overcooked chicken so I’m glad I did check!  Chunked chicken cooks faster than a whole breast or parts.

At 1 hour short of when you intend to pull the plug on this, add the following ingredients:

  • Can of Kernel Corn
  • 1 Cup uncooked Basmati Rice

Stir everything in to the mix.  The rice will soak up the extra moisture in the crock pot.

When everything is done and ready to serve an hour later, unplug the crock pot and add the Can of String Beans.  Stir well and serve.

The Story of My Curried Chicken – Picture

Anything I make in a Wok has a story in it.  This is what happens when I get bored and I have a kitchen nearby.  Curried Chicken Stirfry.

The Wok itself was given to me back in the 80s by a good friend, Greg.  I’ve kept it and used it fairly heavily over the years.  I think well of the wok and think well of Greg every time I use it.

If you’re making something in a wok and using a recipe, chances are that you’re new at that recipe, or simply new at cooking in a wok.

It’s just not that hard to do, and it’s just not that hard to make something out of mostly leftovers that tastes amazing.

Amazing to you, that is since you season it to your own tastes when you make it.

Just keep a few things in mind.  

  • Get your spices out ahead of time.
  • Make sure the wok has been seasoned with oil and is not “dry”.
  • Don’t wash then allow to dry without a coating of oil or you’ll end up with a beautiful rust red wok.
  • Don’t smoke your oil.
  • Keep stirring and cook everything well.
  • Most importantly, be creative.

Every time I start to cook with this wok, I have to find it first.  Small kitchen means things are tucked away in strange places like under the kitchen table.  Give it a quick once over for dust or “things” that don’t belong. 

Place the wok on the burner at medium. 
Find the right oil – Sesame oil is best for strong flavored foods and savory things, Chili oil if it’s “spicy hot”.
Most other things get olive oil for me.  
Don’t smoke that oil, did you hear me?

Toss a few anise seeds in the wok.   Once they begin to crackle, you are ready for your chicken or other meats.  

Everything should be cut to fit the mouth, if you have to use a knife, you’re doing it wrong.  Diane told me that up in New Jersey when I was a wee brat and it stuck with me.

I hear you, no, this was a different Diane.  She was originally from El Paso, and a very interesting woman indeed.

Cube up about a pound and a half of chicken, roughly.   Can’t go wrong with either a little more or a little less.

The rice I started cooking separately in a rice cooker a half hour before.   It goes in last.   Rice will soak up your extra sauce and give you a nice dry-but-not-too-dry consistency.

Toss the chicken chunks in.  
Add your spices and a tablespoon or three of curry powder.  Should be “to taste”, so if you don’t like curry, leave it out.  I like curry.  The house still smells like the stuff a day later.

Stir the chicken often.   When it “looks cooked”, find the largest chunk, then cut it open.   If I can’t get it to break open with the spatula, then it’s not ready.   It should look cooked well, no pink.

Now that the chicken was done, I added a pound of “Frozen Peas and Carrots Medley”.  Yes, of course they were warmed in the microwave beforehand, it would freeze up the wok if you tossed them in cold!  “Hand warm” would be fine, they are already cooked and you don’t want Mushy Peas do you?

You do want mushy peas?  You must be British… not that there is anything wrong with that!

Now that the peas and carrots have warmed to temperature, toss in the rice from the rice cooker.   The rice will still be hot, so don’t burn your hands.  The rice cooker likes 3/4 cup of Basmati rice, 3 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of butter.

No, I don’t know why the butter.  I’ve been told it is so the rice doesn’t stick.   I like my rice sticky in stir fried food.  Just me I guess.

Turn off the burner and give it a couple quick stirs.  Everything will cook nicely and be coated well with a sheen of curry and oil.

Oh that’s right, you might not like curry.   Like Dad said “You don’t know what good is…”!

Don’t like chicken?  I could tell you that this recipe works well with other meats too but I won’t.   That and tofu.   Pull up a chair and we’ll talk about that more…

Sweet Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken Recipe

Right off…. for my Vegetarian and Vegan Readers – swap out Tofu or similar for 2 to 3 pounds of chicken.

Want an easy dinner?
Something you can throw together in 5 to 10 minutes?
Only Four Ingredients for the main course?

The only complaint I had about this recipe was that it was quite wet.  I will make it again, but I’ll cut back on the Soy sauce.   It made up about 10-12 ounces of a sweet brown sauce that went well with the chicken, but it was too much even if you served it on top of rice.

So here you go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins.

Directions:

  • All ingredients into the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • The chicken will fall apart on the fork when done.
  • Serve on a bed of rice, optional.

When I did make this, I used a mix of chicken breasts and thighs.   Personally I’m a thigh man.  Always have been. 

It’s a mildly sweet recipe, so it should work well with any poultry, as well as being interesting with Pork.

Bill’s All You Can Fit Curry Recipe

All you can fit?
Sure.

That comes from the fact that I had so much food stuffed into the crock pot that I simply couldn’t fit any more in there.  In fact, that carrot had to be left out.  I had two in there and they ended up being a pound of the stuff anyway.

Really simple recipe. The difference was that this time I didn’t want to cook the rice with the curry.  That would soak up the liquid that is left in the crock pot and make a sauce.  Some like that sauce, and I do at times, but I wanted something a bit more… refined.

When I finished the cooking, there was about a pint of chicken broth with curry seasonings leftover.  I skimmed off the fat and will be using it to make rice for a different dish.

The recipe itself was quite good.  The entire dish was cooked through which was a question the entire time I made the dish.  Why?  Simply because I put in 12 chicken thighs, which is a block of semi-frozen five pounds of chicken.  That is a lot of mass to cook when you add to it the rest of the ingredients.

You can substitute Pork or a meat substitute for the Chicken if you wish, as well as swap out the thighs for chicken breasts.   Personally I think the thighs were perfect in this recipe.

Curry is one of those “experimental” recipes.  You’ll never get it exactly the same twice, and that is a good thing since you really do want to have fun in the kitchen!  If it is a chore, you’ll hate what you’re eating.  This is trivially easy to make, I had it in the pot in about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken thighs.
  • 1 cup chicken broth.
  • 2 baking potatoes, 
  • 1 pound carrots, 
  • 1 red onion.  
  • 3 tablespoons of curry powder.
  • 4 ounces raisins 
  • About 1/2 pound frozen chopped broccoli.

Assembly:

  • To one large crock pot, add the 12 thawed chicken thighs.
  • Add 1 Cup of Chicken Broth.

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • Chop the Potatoes and Carrots to a rough chop.
  • Chop the Onion down to taste.  I chopped them finely.
  • Add 4 ounces (or more) of raisins.
  • Add some Broccoli.  I grabbed the leftover frozen broccoli, about 1/2 pound, and tossed it in.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of Curry Powder – to taste.

 Cooking Instructions:

  1. Add the large bowl of vegetables to the crock pot
  2. Cook on low for 8 plus hours or until done.  
  3. I went for 10 hours cook time on low. 
  4. Stir the mix periodically to make sure everything gets cooked evenly.
  5. Serve on a bed of rice if desired.

This recipe yielded a large amount of curry that was on the edge of being peppery.   Not exactly what I would call “hot”, I’ve had breakfast sausages that were more spicy than this dish. 

Hoisin Chicken in the Crockpot – Recipe

Actually, this is one of those amazingly flexible recipes.  It would work with any sort of mild meat, like chicken, or turkey, it would also work well with Tofu or Quorn if you’re looking for a vegan alternative.

I’ve had Quorn before, it’s a bit pricey but kind of tasty and it really does taste like chicken.

A “non cook” would love this kind of recipe as a way to say “Hey look what I did!” and someone more comfortable around the kitchen would enjoy the “day off” because I threw this together in about 5 minutes.

First the recipe as I got it, then I’ll tell you my weird tweaks afterwords.  Like any recipe, read it all and decide if it is for you.  You always read a recipe twice!

I did find this recipe online at www.eatathome.com a while back, and I don’t have the direct link. I will say it worked, but I’ll save the commentary for after…

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Mix the other ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Now, my comments.

Hoisin sauce is wonderful stuff.   It’s brown, garlicky, and sweet.   If you have a bland piece of meat or sandwich that needs a little sweet and spicy lift, it will do it for you.  I use it on chicken that hasn’t been seasoned in a sandwich and love the stuff.   Since it is sweet, if you’re watching your weight you have to be careful with the stuff since it is very thick.    Since the sauces were used as a marinade, it was a rather light meal so it would be suitable for diet.  200 calories per Chicken Breast and maybe another 20 or so for the seasoning that got absorbed into the chicken would be my best guess.

I used Frozen Chicken Breasts.  I also put 8 of them in the pot since 4 looked lonely and I had 8 on hand.   I also increased the spice to 1/3 of everything instead of 1/4th.   It turned out fine.

I will say the recipe wasn’t as strong as you would be used to if you are having chicken at a Chinese Restaurant.   This is more “Asian Inspired” than an “Asian” recipe.  As a result, I found that it was MUCH better as a chicken breast in a sandwich that it was served on a bed of rice.

This does make a savory recipe, not what I would call spicy.  If you want some heat, add some Chili Paste. 

End result was that I have had it a couple times on my own rolls that I make from Pat’s Pizza Dough and it turned out quite well.   Just stir every couple hours.  

Also, my recommendation is to cook it at “low” heat for 6 to 8 hours until it is at the desired doneness.   My chicken started to come apart at 4 hours and I left it on the heat for 10.  As a result, they were a bit on the dry side.

All in all, it is dead simple to make, and worth another try when I finish the other six chicken breasts.