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Tuesday’s special: Chicken pot pie

Tuesday’s special: Chicken pot pie

Throughout the semester, Tuesday will be testing her skills in the kitchen, cooking up fun and easy recipes that are budget-friendly and perfect for students.

With all of the unusually warm weather Wisconsin saw in the last few weeks, we all thought that we could avoid negative degree temperatures, our cars slipping all over the roads and wearing ugly winter jackets.

But, right on cue, Mother Nature celebrated our return from break with not-so-lovely winter weather. Sigh.

As a lazy college student, I’d rather stay at home under my warm covers watching Netflix than trek through a bitter-cold snowstorm just to sit in a lecture hall and listen to my professors read syllabuses out loud. I know I’m not the only one!

All that work requires some fuel, so I thought I’d make something to eat that will keep me warm when I actually do get my butt up to face the cold. I made chicken pot pie for the first time, and it was delicious and surprisingly easy. I found the recipe on Pillsbury’s website.

Whenever I look up recipes online, I look at comments and tips that other readers add. In this case, a lot of commenters gave tips on how to improve the meal. That’s what I love about cooking — you can always add your own spin to a recipe.

I took some advice and made a few changes of my own. While the recipe called for frozen vegetables, I added a potato and some dried thyme to add more texture and flavor.
Another tip: you need cooked chicken breast, so I suggest baking it in the oven with salt and pepper for 20 minutes at 350 degrees while cooking the filling.

For the crust, I bought a pack of two pre-made refrigerated pie crusts. I thawed them out while I cooked the filling. But beware, don’t leave them out for more than 15 minutes! I probably left mine out for a half-hour, and they were too soft. They were difficult to roll out and ripped a little.

I put one on the bottom and sides of a deep, round casserole dish, spooned the filling in, and then put the other crust on top. Twist the crusts together around the edges for a clean, pretty look. Bake it for 30-40 minutes at 425 degrees.

One great tip I’ve heard is to place tinfoil around the edges of the crust for about 15 minutes of the cooking time so that the crust won’t burn. That worked well for me, except the middle part of the crust got a little too brown for my taste.

I was so excited to taste my creation once I took it out of the oven. It was delicious! The steamy filling of healthy vegetables mixed with the hearty potatoes and chicken was a great combination for the first week of classes.

Since we’re all pretty busy during the semester, chicken pot pie is a huge time-saver to have nutritious and tasty leftovers throughout the week.

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