Saturday, 18 February 2012
Food memories from college are never forgotten. After the first day in the dining hall, every trip after was horrible, except riblet nights on Wednesdays. For two years I committed myself to the burger diet. The vegetables were watered down and uncooked. The meats were questionable, and the grilled cheese over greased. No sane person can live on burgers alone, and occasional visits to the salad bar, but I survived campus dining.
When junior year rolled around I never returned to the burger diet. Instead, I nixed the meal plan, saved money, and forced myself into the kitchen. My signature dish, mom’s recipe, was chicken pot pie. When I slid the chicken pot pies into the oven, all four of my roommates flocked to the kitchen eager for dinner they weren't invite to.
I remember enough of this recipe by heart. If you’re interested in chicken pot pie, gather the ingredients listed below.
Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup chopped celery
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
2 cups of precooked vegetables
2 cups of chopped or torn chicken (ground beef or steak are a no go)
1 pre-packaged pie crust (preferably Pillsbury, but store brands work)
1 splash of milk
1 ½ cups of chicken broth
2/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of flour
After you've assembled the ingredients, grab a medium pot. Place the pot on the stove on medium heat. Let the butter melt and add the salt and pepper. Toss in the onions and celery. Then saute them until they are lightly browned. Lower the heat and drop the flour into the butter. Use a wooden spoon and mix the flour throughout until the flour soaks up the butter mix. Raise the heat a little and gradually pour in the milk and chicken broth while slowly stirring with a spoon. After stirring, drop in the chicken. Then, before the veggies make an appearance, pre-cook them. You can steam them in the microwave with water, steam them on the stove in a small pot, or roast them in the oven. When cooked, add the veggies. The choice of vegetables is your decision. I run with carrots, peas, corn, or broccoli. I warn you. Don’t mess up the measurements because you’ll end up with a disproportionate pie. The cup measurements differ with solids and liquids. When the pie batter thickens a little, move the pot off the burner.
Typically, I’ll use the rolling pin and flatten out the bottom and top crust with a little sprinkled flour to help stretch out the pie dough. After stretching the dough, line the bottom of the pan with the underneath crust. Then pour the pie mixture into the pie pan. When evened out, cover the mixture with a top crust. Seal the crust by squeezing together the bottom and top crust with finger ridges along the edge of the pan. Poke sets of holes with a fork, and baste the top crust with milk by using a barbecue brush. If you forgot to preheat the oven to 425 degrees like me, then do it now. When the oven seems hot enough, slide the pie into the oven and let it cook for 35-45 minutes until it appears crispy and golden brown. I like my pie to be crispy, flaky, and a little on the darker side. When finished, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then dig in. Let me know what your favorite college meal is. Did you actually enjoy your dining hall food?