Monday, April 30, 2012

Family Recipes: Cheesy Chicken Pie

This is a family favorite. Just add a salad for a light supper or lunch with friends
Place an 8 ounce block of cream cheese in a pot (I usually use low or non fat cream cheese). Add about 1 1/2 cups of milk (I use nonfat milk). Turn the heat on to melt the cheese and mix the milk and cheese until creamy. This only takes a few minutes, keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Turn off the burner and add about 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp Italian spices (if you don't have this, use oregano, thyme, rosemary, or whatever spices you particularly like). Actually, use whatever spices you really like and season to taste. 
 To this mixture, add 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded, 1/3 cups sliced carrot (I like to use baby carrots because I like the way they look cut into little rounds), 1/3 cup sliced asparagus, 1/3 cups dried cranberries and 1/3 cup cooked rice (this last is optional, but if I have leftover rice, it seems to add a little something to it).
Again, you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand or you might like better than asparagus, it just happens to be my favorite. The dried cranberries really add a lot of flavor and just a hint of unexpected sweetness.
Pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust. I generally use a pre-made crust from the grocery store.
Sometimes I role out the crust pieces that I cut off when I fit it into the pie pan and use a cookie cutter to make shapes for the top of the pie. You could also top the pie with another crust. Get creative!
Bake on a baking sheet at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Let cool about 10 minutes.

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