Monday, February 28, 2011

Midwestern Chicken Pot Pie

We all crave Midwestern, homestyle cooking now and then, even if you call the Rocky Mountains your home. This recipe hits the spot when you're longing for gluten-free comfort food.

Make a double batch of the filling and freeze it for a quick weeknight dinner later. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and top with pastry just before cooking.

This one's for you, Mom.

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Chicken Potpie
loosely based upon Carol Fenster's "Gluten-Free Quick and Easy" recipe

2 T. butter, dairy-free buttery spread (I like Earth Balance), or olive oil
1/2 c. celery
1 c. carrots
1/2 c. onions
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. celery salt
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1 c. peas
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
2 c. cooked chicken or turkey, cubed
1/4 c. white wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease 4 ovenproof 4" ramekins or a 2-quart ovenproof baking dish.

Sauté onion, carrots, celery in butter in a large skillet until almost tender. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, seasoning and peas and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir the sweet rice flour into the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth to form a smooth paste. Add to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken and wine. Spoon into serving dish(es).

Divide half the pastry recipe (below) into 4 balls. Roll each ball between sheets of plastic wrap to a circle just slightly smaller than the diameter of the ramekins and place a circle of piecrust over filling in each ramekin. Or roll one pastry crust to fit the baking dish. Optional: brush the crust with beaten egg to brown nicely, and sprinkle with salt.

Bake 15-20 minutes for individual ramekins, or 20-25 minutes for the large baking dish, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is browned.

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Tender Vinegar Pastry
From Bette Hagman’s “Gluten-Free Gourmet” cookbook.

1½ c. rice flour
½ c. potato starch flour
¼ c. tapioca flour
     (or use 2-1/4 cup of your favorite GF flour blend -- Bob's Red Mill works well)
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 t. xanthan gum
¾ c. shortening (Spectrum Non Hydrogenated Shortening is good)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T. vinegar
2 T. cold water

Sift flours, salt, sugar and xanthan gum into a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening. Blend together egg, vinegar and cold water. Stir them into the flour mix. This will seem quite moist, but a rice crust needs to be more moist than a wheat flour one. (I simply combine all dry ingredients into a food processor, pulse to "sift", add shortening and pulse to "cut in," then pulse to mix in egg/liquid). Knead the mixture into a ball.

Separate into two balls and roll, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap. Remove one sheet of plastic wrap and invert into pie tin. Remove final plastic wrap sheet.

To bake a pie crust to be used later, bake in preheated 450° oven for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2 crusts.

This pastry recipe is delicious for pumpkin pie or apple pie (brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar for fruit pies). Double the recipe to freeze extra pastry dough flattened into quart-sized Ziplock freezer bags.

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