Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Freezer Meals

My mind has been running on its own lately. Apparently my subconscious is aware of some impending doom, because I cannot get rid of the urge to make and store meals in the freezer. So, I am giving in. For the next few weeks, I am going to slowly fill the freezer. This was last night's effort.
- Chicken Pot Pie -
Since this was really easy, I am going to give you my directions in case your brain goes haywire.

- 3 2-crust pie crusts (I make mine, but you can substitute a purchased one without too much guilt)
- 2 Costco rotisserie chickens
- 1 lb bag of frozen broccoli pieces
- 2 cans (14oz?) quartered artichoke hearts
- 3 cans cream of chicken soup
- salt and pepper to taste

First for the chickens. I tear all the breast meat out and then tear it into chunks and place in a large bowl. The rest of the carcass I put in a ziplock bag and toss in the freezer to be used for chicken and noodle stock/meat later. Take out your artichoke hearts and cut each quarter in half. Dump the chopped hearts, broccoli, and salt and pepper in with the chicken. On a side note, I HATE when people put in "salt and pepper to taste". I mean, really, how are you supposed to duplicate that? However, I didn't measure. I dumped salt into my cupped hand until I had a nice little mound, and I would estimate that it was 1.5 to 2 tsp salt. Pepper measured the same way, probably 1-1.5 tsp. But, I could be totally wrong. Anyway, after you have all that stuff in the bowl, mix it well. If you do this part thoroughly, it will be easier when you add the soup. Now, add your soup and mix. Since the soup is fairly thick, you need to mix a lot to get it well blended. However, you don't want to water it down or you will have watery pot pie - yuck!

Now that you have your insides mixed (and yes, this should look like a lot. I said a LARGE bowl) put one pie crust in three pie plates. When they are all ready, divide your mixture between the three, and put on your top crust. They will look approximately like the picture above at this point. I always cut a few slits in the top of the pies, but I don't know if that is anything but aesthetic. Once they are done, cover in aluminum foil (or tin foil for us poor folk) and pop into the freezer. I don't know the rules, but I would recommend eating these inside of three months. After that and they would probably taste freezer burned.

When you are ready for a mouth-watering chicken pot pie for dinner, pull a pie out in the morning and thaw. Again, I don't know the rules on this stuff. I leave mine out on the counter until it feels thawed. Since there is nothing raw in there, I don't think it will spoil unless you really get extreme. When you are ready to cook, heat your oven to 425 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. If you didn't let it thaw all the way, adjust accordingly, whatever that means.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see what else goes in the freezer!
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