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Nothing brings back memories of my childhood like a pot pie. Breaking into a golden brown pastry crust to find the steaming, creamy gravy covered chunks of chicken, potatoes, carrots and green peas takes me right back to my grandmother's kitchen table. Even the trendy, beautiful people are serving up pot pies. Going gluten free doesn't mean giving up those comforting food memories of childhood. I've asked some gluten-free blogging friends to share their pot pie secrets. First is Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily
I love pot pie. It’s classic comfort food. But sometimes pot pies can be very time consuming to make and weigh a little too heavily on the stomach. I borrowed the concept of a pour-over crust from my Crustless Apple Pie recipe and came up with this slightly non-traditional pot pie recipe, which takes less time to make than most pot pie recipes. It has a thick, savory filling, but only a light top crust; there is no bottom crust. However, as with my other crustless pie recipes, nobody eating this pie will realize that there’s anything different or feel that anything is lacking. In fact, this is one of my most popular gfe recipes.
I make my version using coconut milk, which means that if you omit the chicken or turkey and use vegetable broth as well, you end up with a lovely vegan pot pie. If you’re serving vegan and non-vegan guests and the latter would prefer meat, you can just serve the pot pie over the meat. So consider this idea as a way to easily accommodate vegans and carnivores at the same meal! Incidentally, if you haven’t cooked with coconut milk before, it doesn’t offer a coconut taste, but instead provides a slightly discernible, yet pleasant sweetness. Finally, the herbs and seasonings (parsley, thyme, oregano, sea salt, and peppercorn medley) ensure that this pot pie is the very definition of savory.
Pot Pie (Turkey, Chicken, or Vegan)(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)
1 medium onion, diced coarsely
2 large carrots, peeled and cut to your liking (e.g., diced, sliced and halved)
2 large potatoes, washed, peeled (or unpeeled) and diced into 1/2-inch chunks (I used Russet potatoes; I usually wash them before I dice them, but don’t peel them)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp peppercorn medley, ground
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan version)
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 cup baby lima beans
1 ½ cups cooked turkey or chicken, diced or cut into small pieces (omit for vegan version)
cooking oil, divided---3 tbsp cooking oil, 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1/3 cup gluten-free flour mix (or sweet rice flour or potato flour)
1 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy (I used full-fat coconut milk)
1 cup gluten-free flour mix*
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
slightly less than 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy; I used full-fat coconut milk)
In large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil and add the onions, carrots, potatoes, parsley, thyme, oregano, sea salt, and pepper. Allow to cook on medium-low or medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on desired doneness).
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to simmer about 2 minutes, then add peas and lima beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix the 1/3 cup flour and 2 tablespoons oil until blended, and heat on medium-low a minute or two until thickened. Add the milk gradually to make a white sauce. When the mixture is almost thickened, add to the vegetable mixture. Stir in turkey or chicken, if desired. When mixture is thickened nicely (and it usually is at this point), pour into a greased casserole dish or pie plate.
In same saucepan as used previously, whisk together crust ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, and milk. Pour over top of filling in casserole dish or pie plate. Even out the topping with a spatula, not quite going to the edge of the dish (leaving this space allows venting, if needed). Place pot pie into preheated oven and bake for 30 - 45 minutes, until crust is lightly browned.
*I used my usual gluten-free flour mix, which is 3 parts Asian white rice flour and 2 parts cornstarch. I gently mix three one-lb bags of the Asian white rice flour and two one-lb boxes of cornstarch in a very large bowl and then store the mix in several airtight containers (like glass jars). No refrigeration is needed for this mix.
Shirley Braden was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in June 2003. She writes the popular gluten-free blog, gfe—gluten free easily. She also leads the King George Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Group, which she formed in 2004. Shirley also serves on the core council of a large GIG group, as well as contributing to and editing its quarterly newsletter. Her mission is to educate all about the effects of gluten on one’s health and share her gfe approach, which focuses primarily on real food, but also includes some mainstream processed foods that are gluten free, and a few gluten-free specialty foods. She believes that the gfe approach is a simpler, healthier, less expensive way to eat gluten free. Shirley often shares her gfe approach in local forums like health fairs and community events. Read more about Shirley Braden and her work in the gluten-free community.