Fresh out of the Oven

Hello Y’all! How have you been? We’re good here at Mama Jess’s, just busy…lol…aren’t we all? We had a coldish snap here in Southern/Central Utah and got snow. About time too… not a lot of snow this year, so I am anticipating a dry, hot summer. On the weather note, how’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

With colder weather often comes comfort food! My house is the place to be for comfort food. The other night I made pot pie. Yummy! The filling I use is pretty basic; I mean, why mess with a good thing…right? So, I have a confession to make…. my crust is not homemade here. I have plenty of old fashioned, sure fire pie crust recipes that I often use. But, sometimes a busy mama takes some help where she can. 😉 The night I made this I was pretty busy so I had Lil Bit pick up some store bought crust for me while she was out. This is a good time to mention that those pie crusts need to be at room temp to use in the pie or the crusts tear when you try to unroll them.

On to the filling 😊 I use a version of this filling for several dishes. Depending on the dish is depending on the veggies and spices I use in it. I use this filling for pot pie, chicken Sheppard’s pie, and creamed chicken and biscuits. The best part of this filling is that its made primarily on the stove. This is a great time saver because then oven time is only to bake the crust.

Take two chicken breasts (frozen or fresh is fine with no need to defrost). Place them into a 3 – 4 quart pot and cover with water. I usually cover about an inch above the chicken. Add 2 cubes or 2 tsp of beef bullion, then add double in chicken bullion. I promise though it seems like a lot of salty bullion its not when you get to the end and add all the rest of the ingredients. Add 2 TBS dried onion and 1 tsp garlic powder. You can so use fresh instead, I just didn’t have onions because I hadn’t gone shopping yet. Boil until the chicken is just cooked through. If its slightly pink on the inside its ok because the chicken will be cooked through once your done baking.

While the chicken is boiling let’s prep the veggies. You can use any veggies you want here. I sliced some carrots into about 1/4″ slices, about 1-2 cups. Then, I also added a package of frozen green beans and about a half a package of frozen corn I had on hand. I love using up random packages of frozen veggies in dishes like this when it’s not enough for a normal side. Honestly, these type dishes are awesome to make when you need to use up a bunch of random veggies or veggies that are on the verge. It doesn’t make any difference if the veggies are on the softer side because they all get cooked anyways.

Once the chicken is cooked, take them out and set onto a cutting board. Skim the broth for little globs of fat and put in the veggies to boil while your cutting up the chicken. Now, once the chicken is cool enough to handle cut them up into about 1/2″ to 1″ chunks. I like my pot pie filling to be on the bite size side, but that’s my personal preference. If you check your veggies they should be at the tender crisp to just soft stage about now. Add the chicken back in.

It’s slurry time! I’ve always done this by eye so I’m going to do my best to walk you through this. I started with about 3 TBS (the actual table spoon out of your silverware drawer) of flour*. I mixed this with just enough water in a cup to make a pourable paste. I poured this in and stirred. I let it simmer for a minute or two to thicken. In this case I decided it was not thick enough, so I added another 2 TBS flour slurry. (Side note, I use slurries anytime I need to thicken hot liquids.) Once thickened again turn off heat.

Onto the crust. You’ll want a deep dish pie pan (or any 8×8 or 9×9 pan will do, if using another pan just adjust the crust to fit). Lay the bottom crust into an ungreased pan leaving about a 1/2 to 1″ lip over the rim (don’t worry if it’s a bit short because the top crust has got you covered). Spoon in your filling till heaping but not overflowing (you may have a bit of filling left over, its really good on toast the next day for lunch). Lay the top piece onto your counter first. Either take a pairing knife or cookie cutters and cut out a few small shapes or slits. This is for the steam to be let out so your pie filling doesn’t bubble out while baking. Lay the crust on top of the pie. Here, I do this backwards from a normal pie in tucking in the pie crust. I just find it seals better in this application. I then take the top crust and tuck it behind the bottom crust, kinda rolling it under. It helps seal and it looks really pretty in the end. Once the crust is tucked its time for the egg wash the top. I also sprinkle the top lightly with sea salt before baking. Bake at 450* until golden brown. Let the pie rest about 10 minutes on a cooling rack,,, can rest up to 20 minutes before serving. This allows the filling to thicken up and not be so molten hot.

This pie serves 4 hungry people and is so comforting. Eenjoy!

*If you’re gluten free, please sub out for your favorite gluten free crust and use corn starch for the slurry mixture. When using cornstarch it’ll have to come to a boil to thicken.

Blessings from my kitchen to yours,

Jessie

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Jessica Stewart: An Introduction

Hello and Welcome! Pull up a chair to my virtual kitchen table at Mama Jess. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat! My name is Jessie; I am a wife of 21+ years to my Maintenance Man, mother to 3 teens (Munchkin *18 years, Lil’ Bit *17 years, and Bubby *14 years old), and I’m also a full time homesteader of 7 steady years. I had urban stead before my tiny steading (half acre) for about 8 years. I have been learning and practicing many of the steading skill most of my life in one form or another. Let me tell you about my mini farm! When I say mini, I mean mini. I homestead on a half-acre! Shocking huh? Welp, I’m here to tell you it can be done. J I currently have a decent sized raised bed garden (20 food boxes), and about 25ish birds (a mix of chickens and Muscovy ducks). I have future plans of adding meat rabbits and turkeys. I do currently milk for a local co-op once a week for the last 6 years. I’ll try most anything at least once. I have learnt many skills and yet, at the same time, not near enough. (I think most homesteaders feel this way.) I make cheese, yogurt, and plenty from scratch (for multiple dietary needs). I love cooking and baking. I find it therapeutic and love knowing what’s in my food. I am an avid canner (of serval methods). If I can stick in a jar, I’ll can it. If you say I cannot can it, then you’ll probably find me in the kitchen figuring out how to can it anyway. J I love gardening (have my whole life). I love the old school farm to table….You grow it, butcher it, preserve it, and eat it! Speaking of butchering, I do that too. I do have to put in a disclaimer here; I’ve never butchered large animals (yetJ). As I have extra ducks and chickens I use them as freezer meat. I have been a homemaker for 21+ years now, 14+ of those have been full time. I have had many side hustles over the years to help with the need of extra income for things not easily budgeted for, such as kids’ clothes, school supplies, etc. Of those side hustles, being a professional cleaner was my mainstay. I have lots of tips and tricks to clean in any season of life. I am excited to share what I have learned over the years to help y’all in some small way. My kids have been public schooled, and now my younger two have been switched to homeschooling this past school year. I find there are pros and cons to both and as of right now; I find homeschooling fits our current needs. I’m happy to share how we have chosen to homeschool along with my thoughts on public schooling (plus what to look for in public schooling) to help y’all choose what’s best for your kids. I also have friends who advocate for both and hope to have them guest post soon! I’m a firm believer in Real Life Economics 101. These will be posts that share real life skills that are much needed in today’s life that I believe are slowly dying. These skills range from homesteading skills to homemaking skills. They also include basic finance skills to manage your monies more efficiently with much less debt. Due to these basic skills my husband and I live on 1 main income for a family of 5. It’s not easy and does require some sacrifices to be made, but if you’re interested in such a life style or just learn how to reduce your debt then these posts are for you. This blog is my journey on homesteading and homemaking. I hope to pass on some dying skills, share my ups and downs, and family life as we go along. I love sharing recipes (of all kinds: from food to cleaners to beauty products). I hope to share both written and video how-to(s), along with written and video blogs. I have soooo many idea, tips, and know how’s to share I can’t even state them all here! Are you up to joining me on my homesteading/homemaking journey? Homesteading and homemaking means so much too so many…. This is my take on it all. Blessings from my Home to yours, Jessie