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Cooking With Rania: Back-To-School Dinners

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Class is back in session and so are all those after-school activities! This week, Rania Harris is back in the Pittsburgh Today Live Kitchen making two more easy-to-make dinners perfect for families on-the-go!

Easy, Breezy Chicken Pot Pie

1 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour, plus more for rolling crust
4 cups dark chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 carrots, chopped
Additional butter for sautéing the mushrooms
2 – 10-ounce packages mushrooms, trimmed and caps quartered
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1 store-bought piecrust

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk (for brushing the crust)

Directions:
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add 6 tablespoons of flour and cook for 3 minutes. Still whisking, slowly add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the thyme and carrots and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Melt a bit more butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the dish along with the chicken, peas, the reserved sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out the piecrust on a floured surface until it is slightly larger than the dish. Lay it on top and tuck under any dough that hangs over the edges. Cut two 2-inch slits in the crust. Brush the crust with egg wash. Bake until the crust is olden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until the filling starts to bubble, 25 minutes longer.

Serves: 8

Make-in-Minutes Lasagna

1 – 24 ounce jar Marinara sauce
2 (16 to 18 ounces) packages frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
2 – 10 ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon 1/3 of the pasta sauce into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place half of the ravioli on top of the sauce in a single layer. Sprinkle with the spinach and half of the mozzarella. Layer on the remaining ravioli. Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella and the Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbling, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Serves: 6 – 8

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