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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Quick Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

Chicken Pot PIe Pasta_menumusings.com
You know those days where the school lets your kids out almost before you get home good?  You begin to wonder why in the world they didn't just give them the whole dang day off in the first place?  And then they are so conditioned to be starving for lunch no matter the time you pick them up.  Uh huh!  Yep.   And all you've had time to do is maybe put on a load of clothes to wash or something.  So you aren't ... ahem... exactly prepared with a gourmet lunch.  

We recently had one of those days.  So what can I pull together from the pantry, fridge and/or freezer to make a nice, hot, satisfying lunch for everyone.  I'm just going to go on and say it - I can't do the whole "let's just heat up ravioli in the can" thing.  Blechh!  One thing you need to know about my Littles.. they LOVE chicken pot pie.  But you and I both know that chicken pot pie is NOT a quick meal to make.   On this particular day I thought maybe I could just throw together all the basic elements of the pot pie they love but in a pasta format.  Guess what?  They loved it!  And bonus points, everything came together from stuff I had on hand in that magic thirty minute mark!  Yay!!!  


Ingredients:  (6 servings)
  • 1 - 1.25 pound pack of chicken tenderloins
  • Seasoning:  
    • kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, poultry seasoning, dried dill
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO + 2 Tbsp butter 
  • 1 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp flour 
  • 1 c half and half
  • 2 c chicken broth + more if needed
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 3 c frozen mixed vegetables:
    • corn, carrots, green pea
  • 1/2 c dry sherry
  • 1/2 bag egg noodles 
  • Optional - fresh dill for garnish

Step-by-Step: 
*You probably need to get a large pot of water going to boil your pasta.  Just FYI.  Don't forget.  And if you are going to throw some biscuits in the oven, get that preheating now as well.

Okay, full disclosure - I didn't measure any of these seasonings.  I had a pack of chicken tenderloins in the fridge. 
1.25 pounds chicken tenderloins
 I chopped the chicken into large bite sized pieces and liberally seasoned them.
kosher salt + black pepper + garlic pwdr + dried dill + paprika + poultry seasoning 
I added a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and two tablespoons of butter to a large heavy 14" skillet and let it get really hot.
1 Tbsp EVOO + 2 Tbsp butter
Add the chicken to the hot oil/butter mixture and sear on all sides until you get a pretty brown color, but not too brown.  *The chicken may not be fully cooked but will cook longer in the sauce.
If your chicken does not start to sizzle immediately when you add it to the skillet, your oil is not hot enough. 
Remove chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula.
To the hot pan, add the other tablespoon of butter without wiping out the pan.  It will probably start sizzling right away.
1 Tbsp additional butter
Add in the two tablespoons of flour to the butter. 
2 Tbsp flour
Stir together the butter and flour along with the chicken drippings on the bottom of the pan to make a quick little roux.
When the roux gets to be a light peanut butter color, stir or whisk in the half and half to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
1 cup half and half
This should pull up all those yummy flavors from the seasoning on the seared chicken.
Bring the sauce up to a light bubble. 
Add in the chicken broth.  If the sauce gets too thick, feel free to add in more stock/broth as you wish.
2 cups chicken broth.  More if needed to thin sauce.
Add in the cream of chicken soup.  This is optional but it will give your sauce nice body.
can of cream of chicken soup
Feel free at this point to readjust all the seasonings of the sauce.   Please do taste your sauce.  You don't want to end up with a bland sauce.  Yuck.  
adjust to taste

adjust to taste
Add in the three cups of frozen vegetables.  I used corn, carrots and peas.
3 cups frozen vegetables
I added about a half cup of dry sherry to my sauce.  The alcohol cooks out and leaves a nice nuttiness in the background.  This is something I usually add to my normal chicken pot pie, so I thought it would work well here as well.
1/2 more or less of dry cooking sherry
When your vegetables are almost soft, add the chicken back to the sauce.
cooked chicken pieces
Hopefully you've been cooking your egg noodles.  Add the drained noodles into sauce.  
half bag of cooked egg noodles
If you have any on hand, add in some fresh dill to garnish.  If not, no biggie.   Did I mention a comforting dish like this just begs for some big fluffy biscuits to dip into this sauce?  Since we don't really have a crust, per se, that's what I was thinking anyway.  Believe me, my kids did not argue!


 Lunch is served!  30 minutes!

Bonus Recipes
Skinny Mexican Pizza  - your crew won't know it's turkey!  Better than Taco Bell!  
Skinny Mexican Pizza_menumusings.com
Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken - a healthy, low fat entree.  Great sliced on a salad, too!
Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken Chicken_menumusings.com
Fire Roasted Corn Guacamole - don't wait for Cinco de mayo!!  
Fire Roasted Corn Guacamole_menumusings.com
Parmesan Zucchini Gratin  for all the lovely zucchini and squash coming into season!  A beautiful side dish! 
Parmesan Zucchini Gratin_menumusings.com
Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce - a Louisiana favorite! 
Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce_menumusings.com
Written Method:
*You probably need to get a large pot of water going to boil your pasta.  Just FYI.  Don't forget.  And if you are going to throw some biscuits in the oven, get that preheating now as well.
Okay, full disclosure - I didn't measure any of these seasonings.  Chop the chicken into large bite sized pieces and liberally season them.   A 1 Tbsp EVOO and 2 Tbsp butter to a large heavy 14" skillet and let it get really hot.  Add the chicken to the hot oil/butter mixture and sear on all sides until you get a pretty brown color, but not too brown.  *The chicken may not be fully cooked but will cook longer in the sauce.  If your chicken does not start to sizzle immediately when you add it to the skillet, your oil is not hot enough. 

Remove chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula.  To the hot pan, add the other 1 Tbsp tablespoon butter without wiping out the pan.  It will probably start sizzling right away.  Add in the 2 Tbsp flour to the butter.  Stir together the butter and flour along with the chicken drippings on the bottom of the pan to make a quick little roux.  When the roux gets to be a light peanut butter color, stir or whisk in the half and half to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  This should pull up all those yummy flavors from the seasoning on the seared chicken.  Bring the sauce up to a light bubble. 

Add in the chicken broth.  If the sauce gets too thick, feel free to add in more stock/broth as you wish.
Add in the cream of chicken soup.  This is optional but it will give your sauce nice body.
Feel free at this point to readjust all the seasonings of the sauce.   Please do taste your sauce.  You don't want to end up with a bland sauce.    

Add in the three cups of frozen vegetables.  I used corn, carrots and peas.  I added about a 1/2 cup of dry sherry to my sauce.  The alcohol cooks out and leaves a nice nuttiness in the background.  When your vegetables are almost soft, add the chicken back to the sauce.  Add the drained noodles into sauce.  If you have any on hand, add in some fresh dill to garnish.  If not, no biggie.   

 Lunch is served!  30 minutes!

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