Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

A snowy winter, complete with howling winds and sub-zero temperatures. That Kansas weather will get you real good.

Pastures has been in a battle with Mother Nature these last couple months. First, gotta keep those mama cows comfortable and healthy. Rolling out extra alfalfa and hay bales, distiller grains, along with protein and mineral, gives these cows just enough extra fuel to stay warm in these frigid temps. Supplementing with extra feed is especially important when snow or ice covers the ground, since grazing is no longer an option.

The mamas aren’t his only concern though. This time of year, we are welcoming new calves into the world, too. Similar to their mamas, the calves need food for energy and warmth. At all hours then, Pastures is out checking on calves to be sure they have been licked dry and are nursing on the mama. If one isn’t, that calf is scooped up, warmed in the truck, given a little colostrum for an energy boost and plopped back out in the pasture to be with its mama.

There are a few other things Pastures does to keep these cow-calf pairs comfortable during the winter. First, gotta break the ice on all water tanks constantly to ensure there is access to fresh water. Second, all pastures have a wind break to protect the cows. Pastures rolls the bales and fills the feed bunks near the wind breaks in hopes the cows will bunk there for the night for extra protection.

Needless to say then, when Pastures catches a short break to run home, he is itching for a warm meal. That’s one of my roles on the farm, feeding my family. Leave your boots on the porch and hurry in, I’ve got a Midwest classic, pot pie! Hot from the oven, this meal will warm you right up. Then, back to work you go until Mother Nature decides to warm things up just a bit.

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

2 cups carrots, chopped

2 cups celery, chopped

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1/3 cup flour

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

16 frozen biscuits

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  3. Add vegetables and cook until tender.
  4. Add flour, stirring constantly to coat the vegetables and keep the flour from burning. Cook for one minute.
  5. Slowly add chicken broth and milk, continuing to stir constantly as the mixture thickens.
  6. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer 1/2 the mixture to a foil pan to freeze for another meal.
  8. Top the remaining mixture in the Dutch oven with frozen biscuits.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.


A Sheet Pan Meal

When our little cowboy arrived last fall, family and friends so kindly dropped off meals. Frozen meals piled in the fridge to warm when ready. Lots of tasty food to help our growing family get through the next couple weeks. Our first baby, and we had NO idea what to expect.

One meal; however, was still in whole-food form. As in, the meat was still in the package, the vegetables hadn’t come in contact with a knife quite yet and a foil pan was nowhere in sight. This was a special delivery from my sister. What could it be?

With the best of intentions, she did plan on prepping and cooking a hot meal for us that night; however, she was a little busy holding a sleepy baby while I shut my eyes for a quick snooze that afternoon. That was that, and I was left to pull together supper that night.

How was I supposed to spend an hour tied up in an apron and stuck behind the stove when I had now had a million other things on my to-do list. As in, checking this new baby every minute (no joke) to make sure he was breathing, worrying over his temperature or if he was hungry, just staring at him swaddled and snug, etc. Motherhood got me good. Got me real good.

A pleasant surprise then, to find that this mystery meal was, in fact, as easy as it gets. Guess she knows a thing or two about feeding a family, three kids later 🙂 It was a sheet pan meal, and she nailed it.

The beauty of this recipe (can we even call it a recipe when it is this stinkin’ easy?) is the flexibility to toss any vegetables on that pan. Broccoli has only a few more hours before it’s going bad? Perfect, throw it in. Bell peppers were buy one, get one at the grocery store? Chop ’em up.

So here it is, the breakdown of a sheet pan meal.

Ingredients

1 pound kielbasa sausage (beef or pork), chopped in 2 inch pieces

3 cups fresh vegetables, chopped in large chunks

1 cup white or sweet potato, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or lightly spray with oil).
  3. In a large bowl, toss kielbasa, vegetables and potatoes in oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
  4. Spread mixture evenly on sheet pan.
  5. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned.

Notes

Be sure there’s space between the meat, vegetables and potatoes. Packed together, the vegetables will steam, resulting in a different texture. Some prefer this, others (like me), enjoy a more crisp, roasted vegetable.


Hamburger Soup

Last weekend, I enjoyed demonstrating a few new looks to mix-up your leftovers at the Women in Ag event in Kansas. Today, I put one idea of repurposing leftovers into practice— making a soup. Throw together a few pantry and freezer staples into a large stockpot, and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 small potatoes, cubed
1 can corn, 15 ounces
1 can beans, drained, 15 ounces
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 ounces
2 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
2 cups frozen vegetables
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook beef and onion in large stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, water, beef cubes and frozen vegetables. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

My hamburger stew used Yukon gold potatoes, dark red kidney beans, stewed tomatoes in Italian seasoning and frozen carrots and green beans. Those just happen to be what was in our freezer drawer and on our pantry shelf 🙂 Think you could master this new look to your leftovers and make a soup? 

Check out other meal ideas and videos on the Pastures and Plates Facebook page.