While most new cast-iron comes pre-seasoned, if you’re lucky, your hand-me-down cast-iron came with a beautiful, non-stick patina that comes from years of handling with loving care. Blair Rumley of Brown Summit, North Carolina, wants to know how to maintain that finish or to replace it once it’s gone.
To keep cast-iron cookware seasoned, clean it under hot water (never use soap) and pat it dry. If there are some stubborn spots, a plastic scrubber (such as Chore Girl) will do the trick.
But if your skillet’s lost its super nonstick powers, bringing them back is as easy as scrub, oil, and bake.
1.Scrub well in hot soapy water.
3.Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
4.Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
5.Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
Or, try my trick–simply fry something in it. Filling it up with oil and making a batch of crispy catfish and hushpuppies works wonders!
Now that your skillet’s back up to speed, try this pie. It will bring you comfort during the holidays or any time of year.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Hands-on time: 30 min.; Total time: 1 hr., 30 min.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
11/2 cups chicken broth
11/2 cups milk
11/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups frozen cubed hash browns
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup frozen small sweet peas
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 egg white
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/3 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add all-purpose flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 6 to 7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in Creole seasoning.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion and mushrooms, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and sauce.
3. Place 1 piecrust in a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Spoon chicken mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust.
4. Whisk egg white until foamy; brush top of piecrust with egg white. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape.
5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.