04 January 2014

Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie of Awesomeness.

After spending much of last year on the gluten-free bandwagon, I fell off the wagon towards the end of the year and after spending much of the end of the year feeling like poo, I am back on the wagon for this 2014.

And speaking of which, happy new year folks! May 2014 bring you peace and happiness, in whatever form you choose.

But back to me. It's been a week back on the gluten-free and I can't say that my life has changed, but I can say that I am feeling clearer headed, my stomach is less bloated and sore, and I am sleeping better. So there's that.

Tonight, I didn't want to venture out into the world, or into the cold, so I decided to cobble together a chicken pot pie to combat the stupid cold and the coming snow. And so I did. And so we ate. And so it went. (ha ha)

I read a number of recipes online for both biscuits and chicken pot pie. I wanted to figure out a way to make the kind of chicken pot pie I like, with biscuits and a slightly creamy sauce. I settled on some version of this:

I made the biscuits first, to let the dough settle, especially because of how sticky it can be.
(I made an altered version of this recipe from here: http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/gluten-free-chicken-or-turkey-biscuit-pot-pie/)

You need:

1 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill, which I don't entirely love)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum 
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup butter - cubed
1 beaten egg (part in the sauce, part as a wash)
just over 1/2 cup milk 
chopped fresh parsley 
pepper to taste

Mix the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and mix. I never quite understand this step. I don't know how it's supposed to look, but I just whizzed it around in the mixer for want of better instructions. From there, I added half the beaten. I then slowly added in milk, just until it all started to come together. The amount you use will probably vary depending on the flour blend, etc. I then added in chopped parsley, pepper, and realized that at this step you could add in all sorts of tasty things. Use your imagination.

I then set the bowl of the raw biscuits over to the side and went on about the rest of the meal.

For the rest of the meal, I used the following:

1 lb or so of boneless chicken breast
some butter
1 cube of chicken bouillon 
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 smallish potatoes, chopped (I don't peel potatoes but of course you can if your life is interminably long)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2.5 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of milk
frozen peas
french cut green beans (I used frozen)
3 tablespoons of corn starch

While I was mixing the biscuit dough, I was also poaching some chicken breast in water with bouillon and pepper. I cooked it for 15 minutes, took it off the heat, and kept the liquid it had poached in.

I put some butter in a large pan and once melted, I added the chopped potato, carrot, and celery. To this, I added the liquid from the poached chicken slowly while the vegetables softened. I added thyme, salt, and pepper and kept it cooking slowly. I would say it cooked for maybe 20 minutes or so? I chopped the chicken into little cubes and added it to the pan, along with the stock, the milk, frozen peas to taste, and green beans to taste. I let that come back to the boil.

In a separate little bowl, I mixed the corn starch with the leftover broth from the poached chicken (a couple of tablespoons). You can use water if you don't have any broth leftover. 

After the mixture had reached the boil, I slowly stirred in the cornstarch mixture and brought back to the boil and cooked for a few minutes, until it started to heat up. 

I poured the mixture into a pan large enough to fit (it made way more than I expected, as I was just sort of throwing stuff in the pan). I took the biscuit mixture and put little dollops of it all across the top, watching in horror as some of them sunk into the mix! It didn't cover it completely, but I wasn't trying to. I didn't want it to be too bready in case the biscuits were rubbish. 

(Anyway, while all this is going on, you should be pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.) 

Over the tops of the little biscuity dumplings, I brushed on the rest of the beaten egg and then threw the whole lot in the oven. 

Because my biscuits were so small, I needed only cook the entire lot for about 25 minutes. 

No word of a lie, it was delicious!  I was super happy with it, and am looking forward to the upcoming leftovers. Here's the inside:

Honestly, you could add anything you like.  I didn't add onions or garlic, though lots of recipes called for them. To be honest, I just didn't want my hands to smell. That being said, the end result was creamy without being overly heavy, but filling and warming all the same. 

As we embark on this new year, I am working on some new things including a new blog, new plans, and improving my diet and overall health. We lose sight so quickly of taking care ourselves and then once we start feeling crappy again, we just feel like it's the way it's always been. So enough of that crap. Enough of complacency. And maybe one baby step in that direction is the introduction of a delicious gluten-free pot pie. 

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