Last night, the children and I had an impromptu picnic by the river. Bryce was gone for the night and I thought it would be fun to mix things up a bit. It was short and sweet but it was a good reminder for me that not everything has to be planned, extravagant or "styled" to perfection. We literally threw our dinner in a picnic basket and headed out!
It did help that I was making very portable Chicken Potpie Turnovers for dinner. I first made these last fall and the children absolutely adore them. I'm thinking that they will be perfect for those nights where we are eating early due to a baseball game or even when we are eating on the go. Also, the children love getting them in their lunchbox!
The original recipe is here, but I've tweaked it a bit. However, please know that I'm no chef and this is pretty loosey goosey- you might want to start with the original recipe! I found that starting with a rotisserie chicken was a bit easier and didn't seem to change the taste at all. I think this is one of those recipes that you can tweak to your personal preference. Also, I had a bit of a hard time finding frozen empanada dough, but I finally found it in the ethnic section of a larger grocery store. The recipe says that you get 8 turnovers but I always get 20! Which is perfect because I freeze the ones that we don't eat!
Chicken Potpie Hand-pies
adapted from CountryLiving magazine
1 rotisserie chicken*, diced
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
3 sprigs thyme (I've also used a teaspoon dried thyme)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg white
frozen empanada dough disks, thawed (I get two packages of the Goya brand)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Saute mushrooms until soft, usually about 4 minutes. Add carrots and onion, and cook until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add thyme along with peas, chicken and 1 cup of milk, bring to a simmer.
In a small dish, stir together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons cold water. Add to skillet and stir until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl make an egg wash by lightly beating egg white with 1 tablespoon milk.
Divide chicken filling among empanada disks. Fold over disk to create a turnover. Crimp edges with a fork to seal and lightly brush tops with egg wash. Bake until crusts are golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
*I use almost all of the chicken but I usually save some to make chicken salad for lunch