Two chicken breast halves, cubed
1/4 cup oil
1-2 onions, rough diced
3 stalks of celery, rough dice
3 carrots, rough dice
1 cup of frozen peas
chicken broth, about 2 cups
2 pie crusts, pre-made is fine
1/3 cup or so flour
Step 1: Prepare chicken, celery, onion and carrots. Warm the oil in a pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook for a few minutes. Stirring. Add cubed chicken, stir and cook until chicken is fully cooked. Add frozen peas and mix.
2. Push contents of pot to side, leaving a well in center. Sprinkle the flour into the well to soak up liquid, stirring. Mix in ingredients outside the well. Slowly add the broth to mix the flour with the broth. This will make your gravy. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put crust on bottom of cast iron skillet, making sure the crust is all the way up the sides of the skillet. If your skillet is properly seasoned, you do not need to grease it. Fill the bottom crust with the filling and top with second crust. Pinch the edges to close the pie. Brush top with beaten egg and prick the dough with fork. Bake for 30 minutes and check crust. If browning too much, cover with foil on edges. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, but watch for burning!
Allow to rest and cool to easily remove the pie from the skillet.
Perhaps you may think there is no earthly way to improve upon a Cinnabon.
But I’m hear to tell you it’s possible and I’ve done it, too!
How could I improve on what could be the most decadent food on the planet–the Cinnabon? By adding bacon, of course!
Tell me who doesn’t like bacon? Or maple flavoring? By combining bacon and maple with my already over-the-top Cinnabon-style Buns I have managed to create the perfect mashup!
And the cool thing is this recipe doesn’t require that much extra work! Just sprinkle crumbled bacon on the filling before rolling and substitute maple for the vanilla.
The results are simply divine!
ICYMI (In case you missed it) I posted my original Cinnabon-style recipe on my blog before. You can find it here: Cinnabon-Style Cinnamon Buns
The recipe below includes the additions that make them Bacon-y and Maple-y. But, hey, if you don’t like bacon…just leave it out!
For the dough:
1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 cups of flour (I like King Arthur the best!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
For the filling:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Six slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
For the cream cheese icing:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (half of a regular sized brick)
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple syrup (the flavoring gives a more intense maple flavor, but the syrup does fine, too!)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Dissolve the yeast in the room temperature milk. Allow it to proof about 5 minutes; proofing occurs when you see some little bubbles in the milk.
In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup of softened butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and mix with your hand mixer until incorporated. Add the two eggs and mix. Then add the salt plus the yeast milk. Once your wet ingredients are well mixed, begin adding in the flour one cup at a time, mixing after every cup until all four cups are incorporated.
Remove the dough from the bowl and kneed lightly to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a moist cloth. Allow it to rise to double the size, which will take about an hour.
Make the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter together. The filling will be grainy, which is fine.
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it to your work area and roll it out to about 12 by 16 inches. The dough should be somewhat stiff, not doughy like bread and about 1/2 inch thick.
Spread the filling on top of the dough, leaving a one inch end of just dough and about 1/2 inch edge on the other sides.
Sprinkle the bacon crumbles all over the cinnamon filling.
Begin rolling the dough from the short end and rolling somewhat tightly until you reach the dough only end. Expect some of the filling to spill out on either side, but it might be good to keep the ends even when rolling. Do this with your hands. (You can roll them lengthwise, but when I did that my buns didn’t have room to rise and they practically jumped out of the pan.
Cut the rolled dough in half and line both halves up side by side as a guide. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch slices. I ended up with 8 Cinnabon-sized slices when rolled from the short side, which was perfect. Make sure they are not crammed into the pan!
Place the slices–cut side up–into a well greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
Put your risen buns in a 350 degree preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes to make sure they do not over bake. You want them to be golden brown and you want to be able to smell the baking cinnamon. They will be a bit puffed up, but they will deflate a bit when cooled.
While the buns are in the oven (haha!), assemble the icing by first mixing the butter with the cream cheese and maple syrup or flavoring. Then add the confectioner’s sugar slowly, mixing and then beating until light and fluffy. Do make sure you use a hand mixer for this…I made my icing both ways and the mixer icing was much creamier!
Allow the buns to cool for about five minutes then spoon a heaping portion of icing on each of the buns and use a butter knife or cake spatula to spread it out across each of the buns. This is an easier way to ensure all the buns get the same amount of icing.
Beef & Barley Soup–if you don’t count chowder–is quite possibly the quintessential New England soup.
But nowadays finding a good version can be difficult to find, except maybe in a can. And even the best canned soups are still too salty and tinny for regular consumption.
So, I set about making a healthy and easy Beef & Barley that would rival the ease of warming up a canned version and I think I’ve done it. Of course, I used my trusty Dutch Oven, but I also used my Instant Pot to make ready the beef.
I started with a small piece of meat that was intended as a small roast. I got it on sale for less than $4 and it weighed just under two pounds. Because I froze it when I bought it, I first defrosted it and then cooked it with a small amount of beef broth and some salt and pepper in the Instant Pot on the beef setting. Couldn’t be easier, but note that you could use a portion of roast beef leftovers if you have that.
Once the beef was cooked and had rested, I chopped it up in small pieces and tossed it into the Dutch Oven along with some tomato sauce, a box of beef broth and the drippings from the Instant Pot. I added a can of peas and carrots, but you could use fresh or frozen. It’s up to you, of course.
The Barley was cooked separately from a dried bag of the grain. If you’re wondering where you find dried Barley, check the dried beans section of your grocery store. Once cooked, add the Barley to the soup toward the end of the cooking to keep it from getting too soggy.
Small oyster crackers are the only thing you need to complete this wonderful, homey meal, which is perfect for a cold late Autumn supper.
One small points:
This soup is exceptionally economical. I figured the entire recipe cost me under ten dollars for ten servings!
Small cut of roast beef, prepared either in an oven or Instant Pot, about 1 1/2 pounds
Box of beef broth
Small can of tomato sauce
Can of diced carrots and peas
About two cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Barley, 1 cup, dried and cooked separately with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste
Cook beef in Instant Pot with a small amount of beef broth and allow to rest OR use precooked cut of roast beef
Slice and then dice the cooked beef and place in Dutch Oven with any pan drippings from the cooking of the beef
Add tomato sauce, beef broth and water to the Dutch Oven and bring contents to boil on the stovetop
Reduce heat to allow the soup to slowly boil off some of the added water and thicken, about 1 hour
Meanwhile in a separate pan, bring the dried Barley to boil with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste; cook for 45 minutes
After cooking off some of the liquid, add the can of peas and carrots and the Barley
Allow soup to simmer for an hour or more so that all the flavors meld together