Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oven meal: Company Chicken, Oven-Fried Potatoes, Buttered Carrots, Chocolate Brownie Pie

It is 1959, and Indianapolis Power & Light wants to make sure you can cook... electrically. Thus, The Electric Cook Book, "your complete guide to cooking electrically." During the 40's and 50's, with the rise of larger and better-equipped ovens, came The Oven Meal. Oven meals are menus wherein all the dishes are put in the oven at the same time. Genius. Plus, I got to use the divided dish I borrowed from the 50's.

Company Chicken
Oven-Fried Potatoes
Buttered Carrots
Chocolate Brownie Pie
Temperature: 350 degrees F.
Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

Company Chicken
1 package EACH frozen chicken breasts and thighs
Flour, salt, and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms

Flour and season chicken. In skillet, brown thoroughly on all sides in shortening on SECOND to THIRD heat. Place chicken in large casserole. Add soup to pan in which chicken was fried; stir to pick up drippings. Add curry and mushrooms. Pour over chicken; cover and bake.

Oven-Fried Potatoes
Pare 6 potatoes; slice 1/4 inch thick; toss in 1/2 cup melted butter to coat thoroughly. Put in baking dish; salt and pepper; pour remaining butter over potatoes. Bake.

Buttered Carrots
Peel and slice carrots into casserole. Salt and pepper, top with butter, add 1/4 cup water. Cover, and bake.

Chocolate Brownie Pie
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup pecans
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

Melt chocolate and butter [I used a microwave, about 15 seconds at a time]. Add eggs, sugar, and corn syrup, beating thoroughly. Mix in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell. Bake with oven meal.



Company Chicken: Ehhhh. The sauce is really not great. Canned mushrooms are rubbery and horrible and they JUST TASTE BAD. That, combined with undiluted, curried cream of chicken soup was just overwhelming and gloppy. It's okay, certainly entirely edible, but not something I'd serve to company. Or again. Husband thought it was reasonably tasty.

Oven-Fried Potatoes: Quite nice! Very simple ingredients, tasty result. The butter was a little excessive (not that I mind...), and I think you could get good results from halving the butter, using olive oil, or going 50/50. They were cooked perfectly.

Buttered Carrots: Also cooked perfectly. Yum. I think I liked these the best, actually, with the exception of...

Chocolate Brownie Pie: Golly. I thought this was going to turn out like a chocolate pecan pie as there is no flour in the filling, but I was wrong. This is like... brownies distilled. Husband felt that it was more like brownies than brownies. I would not go quite that far, but it is not "brownies in a superfluous pastry crust", as you are thinking. It is essence of brownie contained by pastry for easier transport to your face. Warm from the oven, thanks to your skillful time management made easier by the wonders of electricity, vanilla ice cream melting in slowly trickling rivulets. ggghgghhhhrrrrrghhh.

All together: A meal well worth making for the novelty and convenience of making it all at the same time in the oven, if you alter the chicken recipe. If I did this again, I'd either rub some chicken thighs with a tasty seasoning mix or figure out a sauce that didn't involve cream of chicken soup. An actual curry sauce, perhaps.


Karen K. said...

That Brownie Pie looks amazing! And I LOVED your line about the pastry making it easier to transport the brownie to your face!! I laughed out loud.

I think the pastry might be a nice neutral crunchy counterpoint to the richness of the brownie. When I was a kid I hated pie crust but now I believe it has a purpose.

Jana said...

Oh, it was. I hope you try it!

Bethany said...

I know that chicken recipe! Only it hides under the name Glorified Chicken where I got it from!!!

GStaples said...

Interesting that you and I made some sort of chicken dish. I pulled out a recipe from my mom's box and fried it up along with potatoes, although they were mashed and of course chicken gravy. I haven't fried chicken in over 30 years, so the grandkids loved it. I like the brownie pie you made, looks good! I will be blogging about our dinner last night. Enjoying some of the old recipes.
I do have one older book:Rumford Complete Cookbook,1908. I have the 1945 edition. I need to blog about that one someday.

Jana said...

Bethany- Not VERY glorified though, is it?

GStaples- Yum! And that cookbook sounds awesome.

jaimilyn said...

Those brownies sound goooood....

Janet Rudolph said...

Love the Brownie Pie.. have tried so many recipes for it, but looking for the perfect one.. this pastry crust looks just right (LOL--easier to transport to your face!)

Jana said...

You should both try. So tasty.

Nonna said...

How on Earth did I miss this post ? That brownie pie looks delicious and so handy to eat too ( loved your comment on that ) Awesome meal !

Jana said...


Miss Kagashi said...

I tried the brownie pie- I had my doubts... but the combo of flaky pie crust and warm, gloppy, chocolate goodness in the middle. I'm making it again. I didn't have any pecans, so I used slivered almonds- which floated in a way that made it look like pecan piefail! when all was done. I took this criticism in stride and ate most of the damned thing.

Jana said...

Way to go! Love it. I'm glad you enjoyed.