Dinner tonight was meat pies; in particular- Mexican meat pies.
I had a craving for chicken, but xnite was grumbling about it. He didn’t want to eat baked chicken again, and honestly I was getting kinda sick of my old fallback, too. You can only eat the same ingredient the same way about 1000 times before you murder someone. So I thought back on what was in my house, and what I could do to change it up a bit.
I also wanted something that would refrigerate easy, since I was wanting to make enough for lunch tomorrow, too. I also didn’t want it messy, since when things are messy I have to do more dishes. I used to make pocket pies for lunch in high school, and figured I could do a tasty quasi-calzone with some chicken and some spices.
Mexican Chicken Meat Pies
1 box refrigerated pie crust (found in biscuit aisle, you get two 9″ pie crusts in a box)
4 bonesless, skinless chicken thighs (use breasts if you like, but thighs are more moist after cooking)
1 can Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup (yes, it’s that good that I call for it by name. If you want, velveeta and ro-tel would probably work too.)
2 c. cooked rice (I did some quickie minute rice, but if you’ve got leftover rice or brown rice, coolio.)
Ground Red Pepper
-Cut your chicken up into bits. About 1″ cubes/meat blobs would be good. Throw it into an oiled skillet, and cook until it’s pretty much not pink.
-Toss your seasonings in thar. I did a quick shake of the salt, about 1/4 tsp onion powder, about 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground red pepper, 2 tsp cumin, and a generous shake of chili powder. I don’t measure, and tend to use my nose for most things, but since it seems people want measurements… well, here ya go.
-Throw in your rice once the chicken is no longer pink. Let it soak up all those yummy chicken juices. Let it warm up for a minute or two while you do whatever it is you do. Wash your cutting board for the chicken, whatever.
-Come back and dump in your soup. Mix it all up until it looks like you should probably be shoving it in a casserole dish instead of pie crust, and turn off the heat. Give it a taste and see if it needs more seasonings.
-Divide each of your pie crusts in half, and on your work station, set them floured side down (once they’ve thawed, you’ll see there’s a floured side, and a slightly sticky side), and gently (!!!) fold it in half. Open it back up, and gently (so it doesn’t go through the crust) mark with a fork the center line. This is your ‘middle’, so you know where to stop filling to on the Pie.
-Put about 1/2 to 3/4c. filling in the center of one side of the pie crust. You’re going to want about an inch of space on the straight side and curved side so you have space to seal the pie. Don’t be afraid to use a fork and maneuver the filling around, you won’t hurt it. It can also be piled pretty high in the space you have.
-Pull the empty side over the filled side, and line up the edges. Use the back of a spoon and apply gentle pressure to seal the pie. Roll the edges that you pressed up against the filled pie, lest you have over-crisp edges when you bake. Take a spatula and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat for 3 more pies.
-Bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes. Since the inside’s already cooked, you’re just waiting for the crust to cook.
Serve hot with a side of sour cream, and with a fork. They’re sturdy enough to be held in your hand, but since they’re best piping hot, you’re going to end up with first degree burns on your hands if you try. They’re definitely good reheated, and they refrigerate well. Since I’ve never frozen them, I haven’t a clue if they freeze okay. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t, though I’d suggest skipping baking them and just freezing them with the raw pie dough, and then baking them at 375 or so for 30-45 minutes.
Anyway, meat pies. Delicious, easy, and makes 4 full meals for like… $5
Here they are, all ready and wrapped up for lunch at work tomorrow!
They’re definitely filling, and I can safely say that they filled xnite up (which is hard to do!)
Update: I have made this recipe even better! Use 3 chicken thighs instead of 4, add in a can of ro-tel tomatoes and habaneros, and 1/4 c chopped cilantro. Oh. My. Gods. Seriously. Try it.
If you like them, or you have ideas for mixing this recipe up, leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you like to bake!