Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Chicken Dinners

There are no pictures.

Know why?

Because even with my new camera, my food photos just aren't great. Instead of presenting a visually appealing, appetizing picture of the food. Which is a shame, cause the food is good.

In short, if a picture is worth a thousand words, my food photos have overdrawn their accounts.

Yeah, my mixed metaphors aren't the greatest either. Too bad. You're stuck with those.

Today, I bring you two great chicken dinner recipes. 

Or, more accurately, I bring you one I know is great, and the other that I writing out from memory and hoping it's pretty accurate. May the Force be with you on that one.

The one I know works:

Slow Cooked Roasted Chicken

I'm experimenting with crock pot recipes on Monday. We're gone all day on Monday to co-op, so having something in the crock pot that's ready to go when we get home is awesome. Sadly, a lot of crock pot recipes call for cans of condensed soup and packets of dry soup mix and other such shortcuts that are way too high on sodium for me to use.

I'm being brave and inventing my own variations. This one was delicious. I served it with microwaved baked potatoes and broccoli and cheese.


  • chicken leg quarters (one per every 1-2 people
  • Mrs Dash's chicken grilling blend
  • vegetable oil for frying
Complicated list there, I know, but bear with me.


  1.  Heat oil in a large skillet. I don't know how much. Pour some oil in your skillet and heat it up. This isn't rocket science.
  2. When your oil is nice and hot, put in your chicken leg quarters, one or two at a time. Let them brown nicely on one side, then flip them over. You aren't cooking them, just browning them. It should only take a few minutes.
  3. While the chicken is browning, crumple up some balls of aluminum foil and place them on the bottom of your slow cooker. The goal is to keep the chicken two to three inches off the bottom of the cooker while allowing some space for the juices to pool.
  4.  Season both sides of your nicely browned chicken quarters with Mrs. Dash's blend for grilling chicken. Place the chicken in the crock pot.
  5. Cook on high for one hour, then cook on low for 6-8 hours. Or, you could just cook it on low for 8 hours I bet. 
The chicken comes out tender and juicy, without being fall off the bone over done or mushy from sitting in its own broth. I refrigerated the broth and used it in soup I made later that week. If I had been thinking, I would have put some wheat bread in the bread machine to serve with the dinner as well. Still the potatoes and the broccoli rounded out the meal quickly and easily.

Second recipe--

Chicken Pot Pie

It's been a while since I've made this. Hopefully, I'll remember how it goes. But Vaya the Elf was asking for this recipe, so here it is. 


  • precooked chicken. Either use the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken or cube and sautee a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • pie pastry for a double crust pie. Either use a refrigerated crust that you roll out yourself or make your own from scratch
  • cream of chicken soup. Campbell's makes a Healthy Request variety whose sodium content is at least a little better than the typical can.
  • 1 or 2 cups frozen veggies, thawed. My family will eat corn and peas in this recipe. If you can get your family to eat more variety than that, more power to you.
  • 1 or 2 medium potatoes
  • assorted seasonings


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2.  Scrub, pierce, and microwave the potatoes until cooked, but not so done that they crumble when you cut them.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, roll out your pie crusts. Place one crust in pie pan. (I use a deep dish pie pan. Adjust the amount of filling you add to the size of your pie pan.) The other crust will be the lid, just let it sit on your dough board for now.
  4. In a small bowl, mix one can of cream of chicken soup with some seasonings. I just through whatever seems good it. I usually put in parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme. (I sing 'Scarborough Fair' while I add these. It's traditional.) I also like to add a little bit of garlic and paprika.
  5. When potatoes are cool enough to handle (just kidding...I just hold them with a dish towel and cut them while they are hot), peel and cube the potatoes. Or cube them and then pick the peel off of each little cube. Your choice.
  6. Place the cubed potatoes in the bottom pie crust. Season with Mrs. Dash. (or salt and pepper if you aren't on a restricted diet.)
  7. Spread one or two cups of thawed veggies on top of the potatoes.
  8. Spread seasoned chicken soup over veggies and potatoes.
  9. Layer cooked chicken over soup.
  10. Place top crust on pie. Fold edges of top crust under edge of bottom crust and pinch to seal.
  11. Cut a few steam vents in the top crust. Cover the edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil to keep them from over browning.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. 
  13. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Even though the pot pie really is a complete meal, I like serving it with homemade wheat bread. Big thick slices of warm wheat bread on a plate next to a savory pot pie is just heavenly comfort food with a capital MMMMMMMM.......

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